How much time do we have? To sum up Rod Stewart in the usual 2 minutes that this podcast gives to you is an injustice to a man that has been knighted by the queen. But I’ll try anyway.
In 1945, Stewart was born to Scottish and English parents in London. In his early years as a singer, and still today, his signature sound is his raspy, character-filled voice. Though his main characteristic as a performer in the early 60s was actually as a harmonica-playing virtuoso.
The late 60s and early 70s saw Rod take his talents to the Jeff Beck Group, and then with the band Faces, all the while maintaining a side career as a solo artist. Stewart’s early albums were a fusion of rock, soul, folk and R&B.
In the late 70s through 90s, Rod remained affixed to the soft rock, middle of the road and sometimes new wave sound. But in the 2000s, he ventured in to the Great American Songbook, performing songs made famous by Tony Bennett, Frank Sinatra and others, but with his own take on tempo, texture and tone.
To this day, Rod continues to thrive on his solo career and the occasional tour or appearance on television. His accolades are too numerous to count, including a star on both Walks of Fame in Hollywood and the UK; he achieved 16 top ten singles in the US; sold 100 million records worldwide; with 62 UK hit singles including 31 that reached the top ten; he’s been heralded as an All Time Top Artist by both Rolling Stone and Billboard; and he’s been inducted in to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame TWICE (once with Faces/Small Faces and for his solo work).
And, believe it or not, Rod Stewart holds the world record for the largest free rock concert in history, with his performance in 1994 in Rio de Janeiro in front of 3.5 million screaming fans.