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Last Updated: Saturday, 30 December 2006, 01:11 GMT
Rod rocks on across the decades
Rod Stewart and fiancée Penny Lancaster
Stewart's private life has kept the gossip columns ticking over
From the day his rattling voice first gained wide attention in 1970 through to his present popularity, Rod Stewart has lived the rock and roll lifestyle.

His brand of testosterone pop has generated an estimated 200 million global record sales and a recent return to the top of the US charts.

The 61-year-old has now been made a CBE for services to music.

The UK's biggest rocker of the 1970s, Stewart actually began as an apprentice footballer with Brentford FC.

But music was his first love, and after flirting with the R&B scene, he joined the Jeff Beck Group and then the Small Faces in 1969.

Rod Stewart

The Faces' second album, Gasoline Alley, was a big hit, thanks to its title track and the acclaimed Lady Day, while Stewart became a major star with solo albums Every Picture Tells a Story and Never a Dull Moment.

They established Stewart as a respected interpretive singer, with versions of Jimi Hendrix's Angel and The Temptations' I'm Losing You, and an accomplished writer of enduring hits such as Maggie May and You Wear it Well.

In the mid-1970s he gained a playboy reputation maintained through a succession of relationships with glamorous women.

In 2003 Stewart separated from wife Rachel Hunter, with whom he had two children.

He also has two grown-up children from his first marriage to Alana Hamilton, and a daughter by model Kelly Emberg.

Stewart is now engaged to model Penny Lancaster, 35, and the pair have a one-year-old son.

Stewart's 1975 solo album Atlantic Crossing was his last critical success for many years, featuring the number one hit and future football crowd anthem Sailing.

At the end of the same year, Stewart left the Faces and the band finally called it quits.

Rod Stewart
Stewart launched his music career on tour with folk singer Wizz Jones
On 1998's When We Were the New Boys he covered songs such as Cigarettes and Alcohol by Oasis, Skunk Anansie's Weak and Rocks by Primal Scream.

Stewart's recent foray into the world of jazz standards has been a huge success, with four volumes of The Great American Songbook becoming hits on both sides of the Atlantic.

His latest selection of covers, Still the Same... Great Rock Classics of Our Time, reached number one in the US album charts.

Twenty of Stewart's hit songs formed the basis of musical Tonight's the Night, written by comedian Ben Elton, which ran in London's West End for a year.

On its October 2003 opening night, Stewart launched a verbal tirade against fellow musicians and added that he was mystified why he had never been honoured by the Queen.




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23 Dec 06 |  Entertainment

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