Forever Young – Rod Stewart
Roderick David “Rod” Stewart, CBE (born 10 January 1945) is a British rock singer-songwriter. Born and raised in London, he is of English and Scottish ancestry. Stewart is one of the best-selling music artists of all time, having sold over 100 million records worldwide.
He has had six consecutive number one albums in the UK, and his tally of 62 UK hit singles includes 31 that reached the top 10, six of which gained the number one position. He has had 16 top ten singles in the US, with four reaching number one on the Billboard Hot 100. In 2007, he received a CBE at Buckingham Palace for services to music.
With his distinctive raspy singing voice, Stewart came to prominence in the late 1960s and early 1970s with The Jeff Beck Group and then with Faces, though his music career had begun in 1962 when he took up busking with a harmonica. In October 1963 he joined the Dimensions as a harmonica player and part-time vocalist, then in 1964 he joined Long John Baldry and the All Stars. Later, in August 1964, he also signed a solo contract, releasing his first solo single, “Good Morning Little Schoolgirl”, in October of the same year. He maintained a solo career alongside a group career, releasing his debut solo album An Old Raincoat Won’t Ever Let You Down (US: The Rod Stewart Album), in 1969. His early albums were a fusion of rock, folk music, soul music and R&B. His aggressive blues work with The Jeff Beck Group and the Faces influenced heavy metal genres. From the late 1970s through the 1990s, Stewart’s music often took on a new wave or soft rock/middle-of-the-road quality, and in the early 2000s he released a series of successful albums interpreting the Great American Songbook.
In 2008, Billboard magazine ranked him the 17th most successful artist on the “The Billboard Hot 100 Top All-Time Artists”. A Grammy and Brit Award recipient, he was voted at No. 33 in Q Magazine’s list of the top 100 Greatest Singers of all time, and No. 59 on Rolling Stone 100 Greatest Singers of all time. As a solo artist, Stewart was inducted into the US Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994, the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2006 and was inducted a second time into the US Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012, as a member of the Faces.
Stewart worked in the family shop and as a newspaper delivery boy. He then worked briefly as a labourer for Highgate Cemetery, which became another part of his biographical lore. He worked in a North Finchley funeral parlour and as a fence erector and sign writer. In 1961 he went to Denmark Street with The Raiders and got a singing audition with well-known record producer Joe Meek, but Meek stopped the session with a rude sound.Stewart began listening to British and American topical folk artists such as Ewan MacColl, Alex Campbell, Woody Guthrie, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, and especially Derroll Adams and the debut album of Bob Dylan.
Stewart became attracted to beatnik attitudes and left-wing politics, living for a while in a beatnik houseboat at Shoreham-by-Sea. Stewart was an active supporter of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament at this time, joining the annual Aldermaston Marches from 1961 to 1963 and being arrested on three occasions when he took part in sit-ins at Trafalgar Square and Whitehall for the cause. He also used the marches as a way to meet and bed girls. In 1962 he had his first serious relationship, with London art student Suzannah Boffey (and a friend of future model and actress Chrissie Shrimpton); he moved to a bed-sit in Muswell Hill to be near her. She became pregnant, but neither Rod nor his family wanted him to enter marriage; the baby girl was given up for adoption and Rod’s and Suzannah’s relationship ended.
In 1962, Stewart began hanging around folk singer Wizz Jones, busking at Leicester Square and other London spots. Stewart took up playing the then-fashionable harmonica. On several trips over the next 18 months Jones and Stewart took their act to Brighton and then to Paris, sleeping under bridges over the River Seine, and then finally to Barcelona. Finally this resulted in Stewart being rounded up and deported from Spain for vagrancy during 1963. At this time, Stewart, who had been at William Grimshaw School with three of their members, was briefly considered as singer for the embryonic Kinks; though, despite rumours that he performed with them, Stewart has no recollection of doing so.
In 1963, Stewart adopted the Mod lifestyle and look, and began fashioning the spiky rooster hairstyle that would become his trademark. (It was made possible with sugar water or large amounts of his sisters’ hair lacquer, backcombing, and his hands holding it in place to protect it from the winds of the Highgate Underground station.) Disillusioned by rock and roll, he saw Otis Redding perform in concert and began listening to Sam Cooke records; he became fascinated by rhythm and blues and soul music.
After returning to London, Stewart joined a rhythm and blues group, the Dimensions, in October 1963 as a harmonica player and part-time vocalist. It was his first professional job as a musician, although Stewart was still living at home and working in his brother’s painting and picture frame shop. A somewhat more established singer from Birmingham, Jimmy Powell, then hired the group a few weeks later, and it became known as Jimmy Powell & the Five Dimensions, with Stewart being relegated to harmonica player. The group performed weekly at the famed Studio 51 club on Great Newport Street in London, where The Rolling Stones often headlined; this was Stewart’s entrée into the thriving London R & B scene, and his harmonica playing improved in part from watching Mick Jagger on stage. Relations soon broke down between Powell and Stewart over roles within the group and Stewart departed. Contrary to popular legend, during this time Stewart likely did not play harmonica on Millie Small’s 1964 hit “My Boy Lollipop”. That was probably Peter Hogman of the Dimensions, although Powell has also claimed credit. Powell did record and release a single during this period, though Stewart did not appear on it.
2011–present: Christmas album, autobiography and Time
In 2011, Stewart performed with Stevie Nicks on their Heart & Soul Tour. Starting on 20 March in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, the tour visited arena concerts in North America – with performances in New York, Toronto, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Chicago, Detroit, Tampa and Montreal, among others.
Stewart headlined the Sunday show at the 2011 Hard Rock Calling Festival on 26 June in London’s Hyde Park. Stewart signed on to a two-year residency at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, commencing on 24 August.Performing his greatest hits, the residency also saw him perform selected tracks from his upcoming, untitled blues album.
On 7 June 2012, it was announced that Stewart had signed a recording agreement with Universal Music Group. On 4 September 2012, it was announced that Stewart would be releasing his first Christmas album, titled Merry Christmas, Baby, on the Verve Music Group label (a division of Universal Music Group) on 30 October 2012. The album was produced by David Foster and features several duets, as well as an original song written by Stewart, Foster and Amy Foster called “Red-Suited Super Man”. According to IFPI, Merry Christmas, Baby was the seventh best-selling album worldwide in 2012.
In October 2012, Stewart’s autobiography titled Rod: The Autobiography was released (exact dates vary worldwide).
In November 2012, Stewart performed “Auld Lang Syne” from his Christmas album and his hit “Sailing” at the Royal Albert Hall for the Royal British Legion Festival of Remembrance, which was attended by Queen Elizabeth II. Later that month, Stewart again performed at the Royal Albert Hall in front of the Queen during the 100th Royal Variety Performance, singing “When You Wish upon a Star”.
On 26 November 2012, Stewart’s recording of “Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!” reached the top of the Billboard Adult Contemporary Chart. Stewart has had the number one song on this chart three times previously, the last being in 1993 with “Have I Told You Lately”, giving him the second-largest hiatus between number ones in the history of the chart. The song remained in the No. 1 spot for a total of five weeks, tying it for the longest-leading holiday title in the chart’s 51-year history.
On 10 December 2012, Stewart was a guest singer on Michael Bublé’s television Home for the Holidays Christmas special.
Stewart was the tenth best-selling artist in Canada in the year 2012 according to year-end sales data from Nielsen Soundscan Canada. In February 2013, Stewart was nominated for a Canadian Juno Award in the International Album of the Year category for his album Merry Christmas, Baby.
In May 2013, Stewart released Time, a rock album of his own original material. It marked a return to songwriting after what Stewart termed “a dark period for twenty years”; he said that writing his autobiography gave him the impetus to write music again. The album entered the UK Albums Chart at No. 1, setting a new British record for the longest gap between chart-topping albums by an artist. Stewart’s last No. 1 on the chart had been Greatest Hits Volume 1 in 1979 and his last studio album to top the chart was 1976’s A Night on the Town.
In September 2013, Stewart presented his close friend Elton John with the first Brits Icon award in a special show at the London Palladium, recognising John’s “lasting impact” on UK culture. Stewart quipped that John was “the second-best rock singer ever”, before the two performed a duet on stage.
List of bands
During his career, Rod Stewart has been a member of a number of groups including:
Jimmy Powell and the Five Dimensions (1963)
The Hoochie Coochie Men (1964–1965)
Soul Agents (1965–1966)
Shotgun Express (1966)
The Jeff Beck Group (1966–1969)
Main article: Rod Stewart discography
Stewart’s album and single sales total have been variously estimated as more than 100 million, or at 200 million, in either case earning him a place on the list of best-selling music artists.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia