Rod Stewart, born January 10, 1945, kicked off his music career in 1962 as a harmonica player. Since then, he has sold more than 250 million records in a career spanning more than 60 years. Stewart worked both alone and in groups, but that doesn’t slow him down. Stewart was knighted for his contributions to music in 2016. A two-time cancer survivor, the energetic musician is an inspiration to millions of people who fight cancer around the world today. Join us to celebrate this music icon.
Sir Roderick David Stewart was born at Highgate, North London, England. He was the youngest of five children. His father was Robert Joseph Stewart, a Scottish master builder, and his mother was Elsie Rebecca Gilbart. As a kid, he was a great fan of music. His father was a music fan, and he bought Rod a guitar in 1959, when he was six years old. Stewart was also a football fan. As he grew older, so did his passion for music. Rod started hanging out with folk singer Wizz Jones and played the harmonica. In 1963, he joined a music band, The Dimensions, where he played the harmonica and occasionally sang.
In 1964, Long John Baldry heard Stewart play the harmonica and hired him to play for his band. Stewart quit his job and joined Long’s band. From this point, he became a full-time musician. In June 1964, Stewart made his recording debut. He wasn’t with a label at this time, but by August, he signed a solo contract. He got his big break in 1967 when Jeff Beck hired him as a vocalist. Beck’s band released an album titled “Truth” in 1968 and the album performed well in the U.S., but not in the U.K. Beck’s band released a second album, “Beck-Ola,” in 1969, which also performed well. However, by this time, Stewart was no longer comfortable in the band, and so he left. He joined Faces in 1969 and was the group’s singer until 1975 when the group broke up. In the 190s, Stewart took a break from writing songs but resumed later in 2013.
A Manchester United F.C. fan, Stewart is also a lover of cars, and he has many of them. The Queen has honored Stewart with titles on two separate occasions.
While with The Dimensions, Rod is naturally shy, so he sticks to playing the harmonica.
After the relationship goes sour, Stewart goes solo.
His concert in Brazil has almost four million people in attendance.
In recognition of his contributions to music, the Queen appoints Stewart a Commander of the British Empire.
The Queen knights him in further recognition of his contributions to music.
Why We Love Rod Stewart
He gives to charity
Stewart gives some of his wealth to help the defenseless. His generous contributions have saved the lives of those in need.
He donates to cancer research
Stewart has battled cancer for many years. As a celebrity, he donates to cancer research.
He advocates for teaching men about menopause
He believes men should be taught about the effects of menopause. He thinks men should provide support to women who are going through menopause.
5 Surprising Facts
He enjoys railway modeling
Stewart has a lifelong passion for trains.
He tried out for professional football
Stewart went for a trial at Brentford F.C. but wasn't accepted.
He doesn’t think he’s a natural songwriter
Stewart didn't write songs for 20 years of his career.
He maintained a solo career
While Stewart was with a music group, he still worked alone on the side, maintaining a solo career separate from his group's.
Taxes made him migrate
After a bitter fight with Her Majesty's tax collectors, Stewart left the U.K for the U.S.
Rod Stewart FAQs
How did Rod Stewart become famous?
Stewart became famous after his 1971 album became a worldwide hit. The album was titled “Every Picture Tells a Story.”
Is Rod Stewart still performing?
Yes, the musician still performs, even at his age.
Why did Rod Stewart move to America?
Taxes. He had a bitter battle with the British tax collectors. The troubles made him leave for the U.S.
Rod Stewart’s birthday dates