Creating Content for a Specific Audience is Important In Music Marketing

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With other 60,000 tracks being uploaded to Spotify daily, it can be easy for an upcoming musician to get lost in all the noise. Despite the oversaturation in the music industry, record labels are still shoveling out multibillion dollar marketing budgets for their artists.

In some ways it pays off, especially when a smaller investment breaks an upcoming artist. However, some artists never truly get to live up to their full potential if their music doesn’t pop out early. This can create a frenzy of confusion within the industry, as dollars are almost flushed down a drain without any real plan of action. This is where some of the most vital marketing decisions are made incorrectly, wasting away marketing budget dollars because of a poor plan.

The rise of social media has brought with it new marketing opportunities for rising artists. These social platforms, like Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, allow for the grouping of fans and target audiences. Never before have people been able to be reached so easily and efficiently. Compact groups of fans tend to stick together in small pockets on these platforms, usually appearing in the form of fan pages.

Most upcoming musicians believe that they will be able to find a specific audience for their sound. The interesting part of this is the opposite of the type of mentality an artist should have when trying to figure out what to release.

There is no use in wasting marketing dollars in hopes a specific audience will like you. It goes much deeper than this. Luckily, I was able to connect with a well-known figure in the music marketing space and get some amazing advice on marketing to a specific audience.

Entrepreneur, film director, and founder of Oeuvre Media, Brad Dervishaj, better known under his online alias Nilladriz, knows all about the in’s and out’s of marketing to these compact audiences on social media. His work with artists like Fetty Wap, Reggie Mills and Hefna380, among others, has helped these talents reach their specific target audience.

I decided to chat with Nilladriz and get some good insight on how he goes about curating a successful marketing campaign for an individual artist. Nilladriz’s most important experiences have come while creating visual content for the artists he’s worked with.

Know your audience

With an oversaturated market, it is important to stand out as an artist. This is why rather than trying to force a style of music upon an audience that might not like it, Nilladriz crafts his music videos to appeal to the specific audience.

He reverse-engineers his videos to make the whole video production based off the target audience’s interests. In order to sell music and gain a real fanbase, it’s necessary to know who you are trying to win over as a supporter.

Reverse-engineer content based on the target audience

This means Nilladriz puts in the time to figure out exactly who his client’s supporters are and tailors his videos to appeal to a chosen demographic. He knows that a video will be successful before it even releases if it includes elements that the target audience will respond to in a positive manner.

An amazing recent example of this is Nilladriz’s efforts while shooting a music video for one of New Jersey’s biggest rising stars, Hefna380. Their most recent video together for Hefna380’s track “1am Freestyle” included elements that were tailored specifically to his audience.

The two individuals knew that a majority of Hefna380’s fans were interested in anime and content related to that type of audience. They decided to craft the video accordingly by implementing specific special effects that the anime/meme audience would enjoy seeing, i.e., when Hefna380 breathes fire out of his mouth. This method allowed for a successful release of the music video that has now amassed almost 200,000 views to date.

Image is everything

Rather than listening to artists based on sound only, Nilladriz pointed out that consumers are buying deeper into an artist’s personal brand and the way they look. This is why Nilladriz’s role in creating music videos is so important.

If fans are consuming music (the product) based off an artist’s aesthetic, then what better way is there to portray them in a certain light than in a music video? This is why it is common for artists to drop a visual that couples with their new audio release, which allows them to control the image in which they are portrayed and marketed.

Work with what you have

Nilladriz has spent most of his career working with upcoming artists that don’t always have a label budget, making his role in the overall creation of the video vital. Despite sometimes having to work with low budgets, Nilladriz relies on his editing skills and overall ability to carry out a certain vision.

Nilladriz’s “1am Freestyle” video with Hefna380 was shot inside an air bnb in New Jersey. Despite having little to work with, the end result came out exactly as planned. You don’t always need to have a huge, movie-sized budget if you can make the most of what you have.

Final thoughts

Nilladriz has played an important role in the careers of many artists he’s worked with by helping them meet their fans in the middle. His visual content brings artists closer to the audiences they are trying to reach, and sometimes it is the most important medium by which potential supporters will interact with artists.

Our society’s shift to a new, more digital age requires marketers to get clever with their strategies. The rise in usage of social media platforms across the board have opened up new opportunities for creators to reach their audience. With careful planning and correctly-curated content, artists now have the opportunity to reach new supporters and create content that appeals to a specific fan base.

By: Christian Anderson (Trust’N) / Entrepreneur Leadership Network Contributor

Source: Creating Content for a Specific Audience is Important In Music Marketing

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Citations

“Taylor Swift Shuns ‘Grand Experiment’ of Streaming Music”. Rolling Stone.

Late Night Deep House

• Late night deep house mix • ___________________________ • Mixed by GORBER • Bookings: gorbermusic@gmail.com ___________________________________ Tracklist: 01. St-Sene & Janeret – Nightshifter / Courtesy Of Balance Recordings / http://www.juno.co.uk/products/amir-a… 02. Miss Luna feat. Q deRHINO & Adam Vox – Not the same old day (Helly Larson Remix) / Blue dye / https://www.beatport.com/release/not-… 03. Toly Braun – Together (Andrey Kravtsov Remix) / Deeper Motion Recordings / https://www.beatport.com/track/togeth… 04. Miss Disk – White Obsession (Deep Spelle Remix) / 5 and Dime Recordings / https://www.beatport.com/release/whit… 05. Jelly For The Babies – Take the measure / Submarine Vibes / https://www.beatport.com/track/take-t… 06. Prosis – Miles Away / Save Us Records / https://www.beatport.com/release/mile… 07. Fading Soul – Take time / Groovonik / https://www.beatport.com/track/take-t… 08.Cosmic Cowboys – Velvet (David Durango remix) / Kina Music / http://classic.beatport.com/track/vel… 09. Helly Larson – Floating in Space (Rmastered) / MANDMS Music / http://classic.beatport.com/track/flo… 10. Evren Ulusoy – Saints & Sinners (Ilias Katelanos Remix) / Flatgroove Records / https://www.beatport.com/track/saints… 11. Capital Boy – Emotion / Capitalism Records / https://www.beatport.com/track/emotio… _____________________________________________________________ • Model: Isidora Vujadinović • • Photo Credit: Marko Dašić • Video edited by: Gorber and Alen Petrin

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Mariah Carey At Her Home Live Concerts

We find ourselves in a unique time in history, a time that doesn’t allow us to be together in-person during Holy Week. But I’m grateful that so many of us are staying home, staying safe and, in doing so, keeping each other safe. We are united in this effort and in this moment. I want to take this time to acknowledge and honor the sacrifices and courage of those who work every day taking care of their communities in this time of need and uncertainty.

Donate to Feeding America: https://fox.tv/FeedingAmerica Donate to The First Responders Children’s Foundation: https://fox.tv/1strcf Watch on FOX: https://www.fox.com/watch/12ca5c1ba9f…#MariahCarey#AlwaysBeMyBaby#iHeartLivingRoomConcert

Mariah Carey performs a medley of “Through The Rain” and “Make It Happen” for Rise Up New York! The Robin Hood Relief Benefit. Hosted by Tina Fey, the virtual telethon’s one common goal: To raise funds for New Yorkers whose lives have been devastated by COVID-19. 100 percent of funds raised will provide support for food, shelter, cash assistance, health and mental health, legal services, education and more – helping fellow New Yorkers rebuild their lives as the city moves towards recovery and beyond. Learn more about Robin Hood’s response to the pandemic and donate today: https://www.robinhood.org/#ThroughTheRain#MakeItHappen#NY4NY

Mariah performs “Close My Eyes,” a deep cut from her 1997 album Butterfly, on Good Morning America (8/19). Read more about the personal meaning of this song in her upcoming memoir: The Meaning of Mariah Carey. Pre-order THE RARITIES album: mariahcarey.lnk.to/Rarities Pre-order THE MEANING OF MARIAH CAREY: themeaningofmariahcarey.com/

Carey performs her very first No. 1 hit as part of the “GMA” Summer Concert Series. Subscribe to GMA’s YouTube page: https://bit.ly/2Zq0dU5 Visit Good Morning America’s homepage: https://www.goodmorningamerica.com/ Follow GMA: Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GoodMorningA… Twitter: https://twitter.com/gma Instagram: https://instagram.com/goodmorningamerica Watch full episodes of GMA: http://abc.go.com/shows/good-morning-…https://hulu.tv/2YnifTH#GMA#MariahOnGMA#MariahCarey#VisionofLove#TheRarities

Free Nightly Online Concerts From One Of The World’s Top Orchestras

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As concert halls continue to close due to coronavirus, live streaming of performances will provide welcome access for music lovers worldwide. The iconic Royal Albert Hall in London has just announced its closure, with more UK venues expected to follow. Meanwhile in Hungary, the innovative composer and conductor, Maestro Ivan Fischer, has created a brilliant new concert series in response to this worldwide musical shutdown. The chamber concerts are broadcast live and free to view online while COVID-19 forces music lovers to stay at home. The Maestro and his Budapest Festival Orchestra launched “Quarantine Soirees” on 16 March 2020 and the chamber music concerts will continue nightly online at 7:45 pm (Central European time).

Maestro Ivan Fischer of the Budapest Festival Orchestra

                                     

The Maestro says that while we’re at home during this difficult time we “need music, especially chamber music because this is not the time for orchestra music concerts.” Every evening members of the Budapest Festival Orchestra will give a concert from their rehearsal studio. The concerts are free but the BFO also hope that the public will be able to support musicians whose livelihoods are now at risk and their website includes a link for voluntary donations.

Last night’s concert presented live from the BFO’s rehearsal room, featured music by Saint-Saens and Villa-Lobos, plus Beethoven’s String Quartet No. 4 in C minor, Op.19 and traditional Hungarian folk music. Tonight (17 March 2020) the members of the orchestra will perform Mozart’s Concert Rondeau in E-Flat Major and a clarinet quintet along with Schumann’s piano quintet in E-Flat Major. These nightly concerts will continue while permitted. Other forthcoming evening concerts in the series will include pieces by Beethoven, Hadyn and Schubert, plus Hungarian contemporary composer Gyorgy Orban’s wonderful and uplifting “Ball Music.”

It’s no surprise that these special concerts were the idea of Maestro Fischer as he is well known for bringing his music to audiences that are often excluded. Every season he and the orchestra organise two Community Weeks during which the orchestra’s chamber ensembles play in nursing homes, child-care institutions, schools, prisons, churches and synagogues. And for the past five years he and his orchestra have organised the extremely popular annual Dancing on the Square, where hundreds of children from underprivileged areas of Hungary dance together at a free, open-air event. Last June they danced to Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony which Fischer says “was considered the music of freedom, especially because of the continuous, uplifting pulsation of the last movement.”

Budapest Festival Orchestra performing Brahms

                                  

In addition to founding the Budapest Festival Orchestra in 1983, Ivan Fischer has conducted with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, the BBC Symphony and the London Symphony Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Washington’s National Symphony Orchestra, among others. The Budapest Festival Orchestra is rated as one of the world’s top ten orchestras and in fact the New York Times has said they “might be the best orchestra in the world.” They perform regularly in the world’s top concert halls from Carnegie Hall and the Lincoln Center in New York to the Musikverein in Vienna and the Royal Albert Hall and Barbican Centre in London.

The Budapest Festival Orchestra’s free Quarantine Soirees continue nightly. Donations are welcome.

Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn. Check out my website.

I’ve been writing on travel, food, fashion and culture for the past decade or so for a variety of publications. I also work as an art consultant with James Payne, with whom I opened PayneShurvell, a contemporary art gallery in London. My photographer partner Paul Allen supplies the photos for my features that often include a music or art event and our travels have taken us to under the radar music and art festivals in France, Italy, Portugal and Spain. I am the co-author of the Citysketch series of books that includes London, Paris and New York, published by Race Point and I’m the author of Fantastic Forgeries: Paint Like Van Gogh. Follow our adventures on Twitter at @jshurvell and on Instagram at @joshurvell and @andfotography

Source: https://www.forbes.com

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‘One World: Together At Home’ Concert: Stars Support COVID-19 Coronavirus Efforts

Lady Gaga performs during “One World: Together At Home” global broadcast and digital special held … [+]

Getty Images for Global Citizen

This concert didn’t have the onstage dancers, the multi-barrel confetti cannons, or the fancy sets, unless, of course, you count the beer, candle, and enormous book next to the Rolling Stones’ Keith Richards. But that didn’t keep the “One World: Together At Home” concert that was broadcast and live-streamed on Saturday from being memorable. What made this concert striking wasn’t just the star-studded line-up. It was also the stated purpose: to honor front-line healthcare workers and support the World Health Organization (WHO) during this COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

The event was a collaboration between the WHO and Global Citizen, an international advocacy organization. The roll call for the concert read like a response to a request to “name as many musicians as you can in 30 seconds.” Lang Lang, Rita Ora, Black Coffee, Common, Ellie Goulding, Jacky Cheung, Usher, Taylor Swift, Paul McCartney, the Rolling Stones, John Legend, Stevie Wonder, Jennifer Lopez, Billie Ellish, and Celine Dion were just some of the musicians who performed. Lady Gaga curated the event and also performed during the six hour telecast.

The concert included some new collaborations such as the finale with Celine Dion, Lasy Gaga, Lang Lang, Andrea Bocelli and John Legend performing “The Prayer.”

With social distancing measures in place, the musicians of course didn’t gather in a stadium or concert hall but instead performed separately in various locations. Many of the performances were stripped down, without the typical concert technology, special effects, and camera work, which was in many ways refreshing. It was less embellished production and more Zoom meeting-esque, except that it was probably more entertaining than your typical work meeting and everyone appeared to be wearing pants.

The performances were interspersed with scenes from the front lines, anecdotes from front line healthcare professionals like Esther Choo, MD, Dara Kass, MD, Lane Rolling, MD, Lakshman Swamy, MD, and Shuhan He, MD, and thank you statements from folks like Bill and Melinda Gates, Samuel Jackson, Oprah Winfrey, Heidi Klum, and Matthew McConaughey. All right, all right, all right. And a trio of late night TV hosts, Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel and Stephen Colbert, hosted the event. This gave you chance to see that Fallon has what appears to be a faux tree and a large egg-shaped chair in what looked like his den.

Besides honoring health care workers, another purpose of the event was to encourage people to stay at home, hence the name “Together At Home.” On the list of fun things to do, social distancing can fall below “trying to suck in your eyebrows with a vacuum cleaner.” It isn’t easy to disrupt your life by staying at home but, as I have described previously for Forbes, doing so can reduce transmission of the SARS-CoV2, flatten the curve, and, in turn, keep already overworked healthcare workers from being completely overwhelmed.

An additional goal of the concert was to raise awareness and money for the WHO COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund. Bloomberg Philanthropies helped support the One World: Together At Home initiative, including committing $8 million to this Fund. This support is part of the Bloomberg Philanthropies COVID-19 Response Initiatives that was started last month to assist with the global response to this nasty, nasty virus. The broadcast included a pre-taped video from Mike Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg Philanthropies and three-term mayor of New York City.

Other partners for the One World: Together At Home initiative include Analog Devices, Cisco, Citi, Coca-Cola, GSK, IBM, Johnson & Johnson, Proctor and Gamble, Pepsi, State Farm, Target, Teneo, Verizon, Vodafone, Verizon, and WW International.

The WHO started the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund WHO in an attempt to raiseat least $675 million to support its Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan for the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic through April 2020. As described by the WHO on its website, this plan includes:

  • “Putting in place activities to Track and understand the spread of the virus”
  • “Ensuring patients get the care they need.”
  • “Buying and ship essential supplies such as masks, gloves and protective wear for frontline workers.”
  • “Producing evidence based guidelines and advice, and make sure health workers and responders get the information and training to detect and treat affected patients.”
  • “Producing guidance for the general public and for particular groups on measures to take to prevent the spread and prevent themselves and others.”
  • “Accelerating efforts to develop vaccines, tests and treatments.”

Reasonable things to do, right? Well, all of this requires money to do, and the WHO hasn’t exactly been flush with funding. And some people actually think it’s a good idea to threaten or even pull funding to the WHO in the middle of a pandemic.

It’s not every day that you see so many top musicians come together to honor health care professionals. But 2020 has not been your typical year, except perhaps for those who normally sit at home in teepees of toilet paper. Doctors, nurses, and various health care workers around the world routinely make many sacrifices and take risks to care for patients. This year the sacrifices and risks are even higher for many, especially with horrendous shortages of needed personal protective equipment (PPE) such as masks and the need to stay separate from family and friends. So it can make a difference to know that people are listening.

Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn. Check out my website.

I am a writer, journalist, professor, systems modeler, computational and digital health expert, avocado-eater, and entrepreneur, not always in that order. Currently, I am a Professor of Health Policy and Management at the City University of New York (CUNY) School of Public Health, Executive Director of PHICOR (@PHICORteam), Professor By Courtesy at the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School, and founder and CEO of Symsilico. My previous positions include serving as Executive Director of the Global Obesity Prevention Center (GOPC) at Johns Hopkins University, Associate Professor of International Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Associate Professor of Medicine and Biomedical Informatics at the University of Pittsburgh, and Senior Manager at Quintiles Transnational, working in biotechnology equity research at Montgomery Securities, and co-founding a biotechnology/bioinformatics company. My work has included developing computational approaches, models, and tools to help health and healthcare decision makers in all continents (except for Antarctica) and has been supported by a wide variety of sponsors such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the NIH, AHRQ, CDC, UNICEF, USAID and the Global Fund. I have authored over 200 scientific publications and three books. Follow me on Twitter (@bruce_y_lee) but don’t ask me if I know martial arts.

Source: ‘One World: Together At Home’ Concert: Stars Support COVID-19 Coronavirus Efforts

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The Rolling Stones perform “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” during One World: Together At Home on April 18. 
Global Citizen is a social action platform for a global generation that aims to solve the world’s biggest challenges. On our platform, you can learn about issues, take action on what matters most, and join a community committed to social change. We believe we can end extreme poverty because of the collective actions of Global Citizens across the world. Register to become a Global Citizen and start taking action today: https://www.globalcitizen.org/ You can also find us at: Website: https://www.globalcitizen.org/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GLBLCTZN Twitter: https://twitter.com/glblctzn Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/glblctzn/ Tumblr: http://glblctzn.tumblr.com/ Google+: https://plus.google.com/+GLBLCTZN

 Miami Deep House & Lounge DJ Paulo Arruda

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I need of your support to pay host, bandwidth and to buy music. You can do any donate on our website: http://pauloarruda.com/donate.html Thank you so much guys! ————————————————— Necesito de tu apoyo para pagar el ancho de banda, host y para comprar música. Usted puede hacer cualquier donativo en nuestro sitio web: http://pauloarruda.com/donate.html Muchas gracias amigos! ————————————————— DOWNLOADS:: http://www.pauloarruda.com ————————————————— • Follow me on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/DJPauloArruda • Follow me on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/DJPauloArruda ————————————————— • Booking: info@pauloarruda.com —————————————————

Vocal Deep House Mix 2019 Relaxing Music

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tag deep house 2019 , deep house , deep house mix , vocal deep house 2019 , vocal deep house mix 2019 #vocalhouse #deephouse #bestofdeephouse2019 #bestofdeephouse #deephouse2019 #newsongs #newmusic #remix

Relax Autumn Smooth Jazz – Piano and Saxophone Music

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The Best Playlist of Fall Jazz Music! 10 Hours of Relaxing Autumn Smooth Jazz Piano and Saxophone Instrumental Background Music

Jazz Loungebar Selection of 44 Saxophone Bar Jazz (5+ Hours) Smooth Jazz Saxophone Music

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Welcome to my Youtube-Channel “Jazz Loungebar” …a smooth & jazzy lounge trip. Jazz Loungebar Selection #44 “Saxophone Bar Jazz” (5+ Hours) Smooth Jazz Saxophone Music Your donations are welcome ! Please send your donation for our free music program to Donation@Maretimo-Records.com – We say thanxxx ❤ in advance ! Listen to my tracks and mixes online ————————————————————- ► iTunes http://apple.co/1PeDYFE
► Spotify http://bit.ly/1T9wqSi With Musical Regards Your DJ Jazzy James Jr. Weekly new mixes, subscribe to my Youtube-Channel Become a Facebook fan: https://www.Facebook.com/DJMaretimo
Track/Artist/Title ————————————————————- 01. Vladi Strecker – over the sea 02. Vladi Strecker – de el mar a la luna 03. Vladi Strecker – contemplation 04. Vladi Strecker – el instante en el mar 05. Vladi Strecker – el aliento del cielo 06. DJ Maretimo – el momento de despertar 07. Vladi Strecker – tenderness 08. Vladi Strecker – birds over the sea 09. Vladi Strecker – the journey to perfect 10. Vladi Strecker – my city 11. Vladi Strecker – cosmopolitan people 12. Vladi Strecker – taste of life 13. Vladi Strecker – he and she 14. Vladi Strecker – sadness of the warrior 15. Vladi Strecker – old clock 16. Vladi Strecker – red wine 17. Vladi Strecker – three white birds 18. Vladi Strecker – accept yourself 19. Vladi Strecker – first dance 20. Vladi Strecker – en el costa 21. Vladi Strecker – when all sleep 22. Vladi Strecker – sunlight in my yard 23. Vladi Strecker – nostalgie du voyage 24. Vladi Strecker – saxo en la playa 25. DJ Maretimo – el momento de despertar 26. Vladi Strecker – sea and soul 27. Vladi Strecker – night breeze 28. Vladi Strecker – a smooth day for you 29. Vladi Strecker – deep in your eyes 30. DJ Maretimo – el momento de despertar 31. Vladi Strecker – dwelling in the sky 32. Vladi Strecker – across the sea 33. Vladi Strecker – intimate kiss 34. Vladi Strecker – lilia 35. Vladi Strecker – do you remember 36. Vladi Strecker – lloret de mar 37. Vladi Strecker – midnight ocean 38. Vladi Strecker – sailor’s dream 39. Vladi Strecker – sweet home 40. Vladi Strecker – smooth chillin´ 41. Vladi Strecker – short dream 42. Vladi Strecker – yes 43. Vladi Strecker – the moon in the pool 44. Vladi Strecker – sun sea and mountains 45. Vladi Strecker – my story 46. Vladi Strecker – night distance 47. Vladi Strecker – your big world 48. Vladi Strecker – with you 49. Vladi Strecker – trip to the ocean 50. Vladi Strecker – the joy of travel 51. Vladi Strecker – diving 52. Vladi Strecker – m 53. Vladi Strecker – a look inside 54. Vladi Strecker – jungle city 55. Vladi Strecker – meditation in the city #jazzsaxophone #saxophonejazz #saxjazz #pubmusic #loungemusic #jazzlounge #loungemusic2018jazz #saxloungemusic #djmaretimo #maretimosessions #maretimorecords #jazzloungebar #jazzyjamesjunior CAT-SAX

 

Rod Stewart The Legend Of Pop Rock Still Standing Hard In Music Industry

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Sir Roderick David Stewart, CBE (born 10 January 1945)[1] is a British rock singer and songwriter. Born and raised in London, he is of Scottish and English ancestry. Stewart is one of the best-selling music artists of all time, having sold over 120 million records worldwide.[2] He has had nine number-one albums in the UK Albums Chart and his tally of 62 UK hit singles includes 31 that reached the top ten, six of which gained the #1 position.[3] Stewart has had 16 top ten singles in the US, with four reaching #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. He was knighted in the 2016 Birthday Honours for services to music and charity.[4]

With his distinctive raspy singing voice, Stewart came to prominence in the late 1960s and the 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. In 1964, Stewart joined Long John Baldry and the All Stars, and in August, Stewart signed a solo contract, releasing his first single, “Good Morning Little Schoolgirl“, in October. He maintained a solo career alongside a group career, releasing his debut solo album, An Old Raincoat Won’t Ever Let You Down in 1969. Stewart’s early albums were a fusion of rock, folk music, soul music, and R&B.[5][6]

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 1994, Stewart staged the largest free rock concert in history when he performed in front of 3.5 million people in Rio de Janeiro.[7]

In 2008, Billboard magazine ranked him the 17th most successful artist on the “Billboard Hot 100 All-Time Top Artists”.[8] A Grammy and Brit Award recipient, he was voted at #33 in Q Magazines list of the Top 100 Greatest Singers of all time,[9] and #59 on Rolling Stone 100 Greatest Singers of all time.[10] 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 Faces.[11][12]

The family were also great fans of the singer Al Jolson and would sing and play his hits.[24][28] Stewart collected his records and saw his films, read books about him, and was influenced by his performing style and attitude towards his audience.[24][26][29] His introduction to rock and roll was hearing Little Richard‘s 1956 hit “The Girl Can’t Help It“, and seeing Bill Haley & His Comets in concert.[28] His father bought him a guitar in January 1959; the first song he learned was the folk tune “It Takes a Worried Man to Sing a Worried Song”; the first record he bought was Eddie Cochran‘s “C’mon Everybody“.[23] In 1960, he joined a skiffle group with schoolfriends called the Kool Kats, playing Lonnie Donegan and Chas McDevitt hits.[23][29]

Stewart left school at age 15[30] and worked briefly as a silk screen printer.[29] Spurred on by his father, his ambition was to become a professional footballer.[27][30] In summer 1960, he went for trials at Brentford F.C.,[31] a Third Division club at the time.[32] Contrary to some longstanding accounts, Stewart states in his 2012 autobiography that he was never signed to the club and that the club never called him back after his trials.[nb 2] In any case, regarding possible career options, Stewart concluded, “Well, a musician’s life is a lot easier and I can also get drunk and make music, and I can’t do that and play football. I plumped for music … They’re the only two things I can do actually: play football and sing.”[24][30]

Music career

1961–1963: Early work and The Dimensions

Stewart worked in the family shop and as a newspaper delivery boy.[35] He then worked briefly as a labourer for Highgate Cemetery, which became another part of his biographical lore.[nb 3] He worked in a North Finchley funeral parlour[35] and as a fence erector and sign writer.[29] 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.[37] 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.[37][38]

Stewart became attracted to beatnik attitudes and left-wing politics, living for a while in a beatnik houseboat at Shoreham-by-Sea.[37] He 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.[29][37] He also used the marches as a way to meet and bed girls.[37][39] In 1962 he had his first serious relationship, with London art student Suzannah Boffey (a friend of future model and actress Chrissie Shrimpton); he moved to a bed-sit in Muswell Hill to be near her.[40] She became pregnant, but neither Rod nor his family wanted him to enter marriage; the baby girl was given up for adoption and Rod and Suzannah’s relationship ended.[40]

In 1962, Stewart began hanging around folk singer Wizz Jones, busking at Leicester Square and other London spots.[41] Stewart took up playing the then-fashionable harmonica.[42] 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.[41] Eventually, this resulted in Stewart being rounded up and deported from Spain for vagrancy during 1963.[34][41][43] 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.[21][38][44][45][46]

In 1963, Stewart adopted the Mod lifestyle and look, and began fashioning the spiky rooster hairstyle that would become his trademark.[47] (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.[47][48][49]) 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.[47]

After returning to London, Stewart joined a rhythm and blues group, the Dimensions, in October 1963 as a harmonica player and part-time vocalist.[33][50] 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.[51][52] 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.[33][50] The group performed weekly at the famed Studio 51 club on Great Newport Street in London, where The Rolling Stones often headlined;[50] this was Stewart’s entrée into the thriving London R & B scene,[53] and his harmonica playing improved in part from watching Mick Jagger on stage.[42] Relations soon broke down between Powell and Stewart over roles within the group[51] 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.[33][54] Powell did record and release a single during this period, though Stewart did not appear on it.[50]

1964–67: Steampacket and “Rod the Mod” image

In January 1964,[nb 4] while Stewart was waiting at Twickenham railway station after having seen Long John Baldry and the All Stars at Eel Pie Island,[33][54][56] Baldry heard him playing “Smokestack Lightnin’” on his harmonica, and invited him to sit in with the group (which passed into his hands and was renamed the Hoochie Coochie Men when Cyril Davies died of endocarditis on 7 January); when Baldry discovered Stewart was a singer as well, he offered him a job for £35 a week, after securing the approval of Stewart’s mother.[54] Quitting his day job at the age of nineteen, Stewart gradually overcame his shyness and nerves and became a visible enough part of the act that he was sometimes added to the billing as “Rod the Mod” Stewart,[42][54][55] the nickname coming from his dandyish style of grooming and dress.[38] Baldry touted Stewart’s abilities to Melody Maker magazine and the group enjoyed a weekly residence at London’s fabled Marquee Club.[55] In June 1964, Stewart made his recording début (without label credit) on “Up Above My Head“, the B-side to a Baldry and Hoochie Coochie Men single.[57] While still with Baldry, Stewart embarked on a simultaneous solo career.[58] He made some demo recordings,[nb 5] was scouted by Decca Records at the Marquee Club, and signed to a solo contract in August 1964.[59] He appeared on several regional television shows around the country and recorded his first single in September 1964.[58][59]

Turning down Decca’s recommended material as too commercial, Stewart insisted that the experienced session musicians he was given, including John Paul Jones, learn a couple of Sonny Boy Williamson songs he had just heard.[60] The resulting single, “Good Morning Little Schoolgirl“, was recorded released in October 1964; despite Stewart performing it on the popular television show Ready Steady Go!, it failed to enter the charts. Also in October Stewart left the Hoochie Coochie Men after having a row with Baldry.[59]

Stewart played some dates on his own in late 1964 and early 1965, sometimes backed by the Southampton R & B outfit The Soul Agents.[61] The Hoochie Coochie Men broke up, Baldry and Stewart patched up their differences (and indeed became lifelong friends),[62] and legendary impresario Giorgio Gomelsky put together Steampacket, which featured Baldry, Stewart, Brian Auger, Julie Driscoll, Micky Waller, Vic Briggs and Ricky Fenson; their first appearance was in support of The Rolling Stones in July 1965.[63] The group was conceived as a white soul revue, analogous to The Ike & Tina Turner Revue, with multiple vocalists and styles ranging from jazz to R & B to blues.[64] Steampacket toured with the Stones and The Walker Brothers that summer, ending in the London Palladium;[64] seeing the audience react to the Stones gave Stewart his first exposure to crowd hysteria.[65] Stewart, who had been included in the group upon Baldry’s insistence, ended up with most of the male vocal parts.[64] Steampacket was unable to enter the studio to record any material due to its members all belonging to different labels and managers,[64][66] although Gomelsky did record one of their Marquee Club rehearsals.[nb 6]

Stewart’s “Rod the Mod” image gained wider visibility in November 1965, when he was the subject of a 30-minute Rediffusion, London television documentary titled “An Easter with Rod” that portrayed the Mod scene.[34][67] His parallel solo career attempts continued on EMI‘s Columbia label with the November 1965 release of “The Day Will Come”, a more heavily arranged pop attempt, and the April 1966 release of his take on Sam Cooke‘s “Shake“, with the Brian Auger Trinity.[67] Both failed commercially and neither gained positive notices.[68] Stewart had spent the better part of two years listening mostly to Cooke; he later said, “I didn’t sound like anybody at all … but I knew I sounded a bit like Sam Cooke, so I listened to Sam Cooke.”[52] This recording solidified that singer’s position as Stewart’s idol and most enduring influence; he called it a “crossing of the water.”[38][52][64]

Stewart departed from Steampacket in March 1966,[67] with Stewart saying he had been sacked and Auger saying he had quit.[64] Stewart then joined a somewhat similar outfit, Shotgun Express, in May 1966 as co-lead vocalist with Beryl Marsden.[64][67] The other members included Mick Fleetwood and Peter Green (who would go on to form Fleetwood Mac), and Peter Bardens.[67] Shotgun Express released one unsuccessful single in October 1966, the orchestra-heavy “I Could Feel The Whole World Turn Round”, before disbanding.[64][67] Stewart later disparaged Shotgun Express as a poor imitation of Steampacket, and said “I was still getting this terrible feeling of doing other people’s music. I think you can only start finding yourself when you write your own material.”[67] By now, Stewart had bounced around without achieving much success, with little to distinguish himself among other aspiring London singers other than the emerging rasp in his voice.[53]

1967–69: Jeff Beck Group period

Guitarist Jeff Beck recruited Stewart for his new post-Yardbirds venture,[69] and in February 1967, Stewart joined the Jeff Beck Group as vocalist and sometime songwriter.[70] This would become the big break of his early career.[38] There he first played with Ronnie Wood[64] whom he had first met in a London pub in 1964;[59] the two soon became fast friends.[69] During its first year, the group experienced frequent changes of drummers and conflicts involving manager Mickie Most wanting to reduce Stewart’s role; they toured the UK, and released a couple of singles that featured Stewart on their B-sides.[70][71] Stewart’s sputtering solo career also continued, with the March 1968 release of non-hit “Little Miss Understood” on Immediate Records.[70]

The Jeff Beck Group toured Western Europe in spring 1968, recorded, and were nearly destitute; then assistant manager Peter Grant booked them on a six-week tour of the United States starting in June 1968 with the Fillmore East in New York.[70][72][73] Stewart, on his first trip to America, suffered terrible stage fright during the opening show and hid behind the amplifier banks while singing; only a quick shot of brandy brought him out front.[70] Nevertheless, the show and the tour were a big success,[38][73] with Robert Shelton of The New York Times calling the group exciting and praising “the interaction of Mr. Beck’s wild and visionary guitar against the hoarse and insistent shouting of Rod Stewart,”[72] and New Musical Express reporting that the group was receiving standing ovations and pulling receipts equal to those of Jimi Hendrix and The Doors.[70]

In August 1968, their first album Truth was released; by October it had risen to number 15 on the US albums chart but failed to chart in the UK.[70] The album featured Beck’s masterly guitar technique and manipulated sounds as Stewart’s dramatic vocalising tackled the group’s varied repertoire of blues, folk, rock, and proto-heavy metal.[53][71][74] Stewart also co-wrote three of the songs,[74] and credited the record for helping to develop his vocal abilities and the sandpaper quality in his voice.[52] The group toured America again at the end of the year to a very strong reception, then suffered from more personnel upheaval[70][75] (something that would continue throughout Beck’s career). In July 1969, Stewart left, following his friend Wood’s departure.[52][76] Stewart later recalled: “It was a great band to sing with but I couldn’t take all the aggravation and unfriendliness that developed…. In the two and a half years I was with Beck I never once looked him in the eye – I always looked at his shirt or something like that.”[70]

The group’s second album, Beck-Ola, was released in June 1969 in the US and September 1969 in the UK, bracketing the time the group was dissolving; it also made number 15 in the US albums chart and placed to number 39 in the UK albums chart.[38][76][77] During his time with the group, Stewart initially felt overmatched by Beck’s presence, and his style was still developing; but later Stewart felt the two developed a strong musical, if not personal, rapport.[70][78] Much of Stewart’s sense of phrasing was developed during his time with the Jeff Beck Group.[52] Beck sought to form a new supergroup with Carmine Appice and Tim Bogert (of the similarly just-breaking-up Vanilla Fudge) joining him and Stewart, but Stewart had other plans.[79]

1969–75: Solo career established and Faces albums

Mercury Records A&R man Lou Reizner had seen Stewart perform with Beck, and on 8 October 1968 signed him to a solo contract;[70] but contractual complexities delayed Stewart’s recording for him until July 1969.[76][80] Meanwhile, in May 1969, guitarist and singer Steve Marriott left English band The Small Faces.[76] Ron Wood was announced as the replacement guitarist in June and on 18 October 1969, Stewart followed his friend and was announced as their new singer.[76] The two joined existing members Ronnie Lane, Ian McLagan, and Kenney Jones, who soon decided to call the new line-up Faces.[81]

An Old Raincoat Won’t Ever Let You Down became Stewart’s first solo album in 1969 (it was known as The Rod Stewart Album in the US). It established the template for his solo sound: a heartfelt mixture of folk, rock, and country blues, inclusive of a British working-class sensibility, with both original material (“Cindy’s Lament” and the title song) and cover versions (Ewan MacColl‘s “Dirty Old Town” and Mike d’Abo‘s “Handbags and Gladrags“). The backing band on the album included Wood, Waller and McLagan, plus Keith Emerson and guitarists Martin Pugh (of Steamhammer, and later Armageddon and 7th Order) and Martin Quittenton (also from Steamhammer).[82]

Faces released their début album First Step in early 1970 with a rock and roll style similar to the Rolling Stones. While the album did better in the UK than in the US, the Faces quickly earned a strong live following. Stewart released his second album, Gasoline Alley that autumn. Stewart’s approach was similar to his first album and mandolin was introduced into the sound. He then launched a US tour with the Faces. Stewart sang guest vocals for the Australian group Python Lee Jackson on “In a Broken Dream”, recorded in April 1969 but not released until 1970. His payment was a set of seat covers for his car. It was re-released in 1972 to become a worldwide hit.

Stewart’s 1971 solo album Every Picture Tells a Story made him a household name when the B-side of his minor hit “Reason to Believe”, “Maggie May”, (co-written with Martin Quittenton) started receiving radio play. The album and the single occupied number one in both the US and the UK simultaneously, a chart first, in September.[83] Set off by a striking mandolin part (by Ray Jackson of Lindisfarne), “Maggie May” was also named in The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll, one of three songs by him to appear on that list. The rest of the album was equally strong, with “Mandolin Wind” again showcasing that instrument; “(I Know) I’m Losing You” adding hard-edged soul to the mix; and “Tomorrow Is a Long Time”, a cover of a Bob Dylan song. But the ultimate manifestation of the early Stewart solo style was the Stewart-Wood-penned “Every Picture Tells a Story” itself: powered by Mick Waller’s drumming, Pete Sears’s piano and Wood’s guitar work in a largely acoustic arrangement; it is a song relating to the picaresque adventures of the singer.[citation needed]

The second Faces album, Long Player, was released in early 1971 and enjoyed greater chart success than First Step. Faces also got their only US Top 40 hit with “Stay With Me” from their third album A Nod Is as Good as a Wink…To a Blind Horse released in late 1971.[84] This album reached the Top 10 on both sides of the Atlantic on the back of the success of Every Picture Tells A Story.[84][85] Steve Jones from The Sex Pistols regarded the Faces very highly and named them as a main influence on the British punk rock movement.[86]

The Faces toured extensively in 1972 with growing tension in the band over Stewart’s solo career enjoying more success than the band’s. Stewart released Never a Dull Moment in the same year. Repeating the Every Picture formula, for the most part, it reached number two on the US album charts and number one in the UK,[87] and enjoyed further good notices from reviewers. “You Wear It Well” was a hit single that reached number 13 in the US and went to number one in the UK, while “Twisting the Night Away” made explicit Stewart’s debt to Sam Cooke.

For the body of his early solo work Stewart earned tremendous critical praise. Rolling Stone’s 1980 Illustrated History of Rock & Roll includes this in its Stewart entry:[53]

Rarely has a singer had as full and unique a talent as Rod Stewart; rarely has anyone betrayed his talent so completely. Once the most compassionate presence in music, he has become a bilious self-parody – and sells more records than ever [… A] writer who offered profound lyricism and fabulous self-deprecating humour, teller of tall tales and honest heartbreaker, he had an unmatched eye for the tiny details around which lives turn, shatter, and reform […] and a voice to make those details indelible. [… His solo albums] were defined by two special qualities: warmth, which was redemptive, and modesty, which was liberating. If ever any rocker chose the role of everyman and lived up to it, it was Rod Stewart.

The Faces released their final album Ooh La La, which reached number one in the UK and number 21 in the US in 1973.[84][85] During the recording of the album, the rift between Stewart and the rest of the Faces grew further, as (according to Ian McLagan), Stewart didn’t participate until two weeks into the sessions, “and then complained that some songs were in the wrong key for him. So we recorded them again and waited a week for him to come back. We cut the track for ‘Ooh La La’ three times before he eventually passed on it, leaving it for Woody to sing. […] The week the album came out he did all he could to scuttle it and told anyone who would listen how useless it was.”.[88] The band toured Australasia, Japan, Europe and the UK in 1974[89] to support the album and the single “Pool Hall Richard”.

In late 1974, Stewart released his Smiler album. In Britain, it reached number one, and the single “Farewell” number seven, but only number 13 on the Billboard pop album charts and the single “Mine for Me” only number 91 on the Billboard pop singles charts. It was his last original album for Mercury Records. After the release of the double album compilation The Best of Rod Stewart he switched to Warner Bros. Records and remained with them throughout the vast majority of his career (Faces were signed to Warner Bros., and Stewart’s solo releases in the UK appeared on the Riva label until 1981). In 1975, Faces toured the US twice (with Ronnie Wood joining The Rolling Stones‘ US tour in between)[89] before Stewart announced the Faces’ break-up at the end of the year.[90]

1975–88: Height of fame and critical reaction

On stage in Dublin, 1981

In 1975, Stewart moved to Los Angeles. He released the Atlantic Crossing album for his new record company, using producer Tom Dowd and a different sound based on the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section. Atlantic Crossing marked both a return to form and a return to the Top 10 of the Billboard album charts. The first single, a cover of the Sutherland Brothers song “Sailing“, was a number-one hit in the UK, but it only reached the Top 60 of the US charts. The single returned to the UK Top 10 a year later when used as the theme music for a BBC documentary series about HMS Ark Royal. Having been a hit twice over, “Sailing” became, and remains, Stewart’s biggest-selling single in the UK. His Holland-Dozier-Holland cover “This Old Heart of Mine” was also a Top 100 hit in 1976.[84] In 1976 Stewart covered The Beatles‘ song “Get Back” for the musical documentary All This and World War II.[91]

Later in 1976, Stewart topped the US Billboard Hot 100 for eight weeks and the Australian ARIA chart with the ballad “Tonight’s the Night“, with an accompanying music video featuring actress Britt Ekland.[84] It came from the A Night on the Town album, which went to number two on the Billboard album charts and was Stewart’s first album to go platinum. By explicitly marking the album as having a “fast side” and a “slow side”, Stewart continued the trend started by Atlantic Crossing. “The First Cut Is the Deepest“, a cover of a Cat Stevens song, went number one in the UK in 1977, and top 30 in the US.[84][87]The Killing of Georgie (Part 1 and 2)”, about the murder of a gay man, was also a Top 40 hit for Stewart during 1977.[84]

Foot Loose & Fancy Free (1977) featured Stewart’s own band, the original Rod Stewart Group that featured Carmine Appice, Phil Chen, Jim Cregan, Billy Peek, Gary Grainger and John Jarvis. It continued Stewart’s run of chart success, reaching number two. “You’re in my Heart” was the hit single, reaching number four in the US.[84]

Hot Legs” achieved a lot of radio airplay as did the confessional “I Was Only Joking“. In appearance, Stewart’s look had evolved to include a glam element, including make-up and spandex clothes. Stewart scored another UK number one and US number one single with “Da Ya Think I’m Sexy?“, which was a crossover hit reaching number five on the Billboard black charts due to its disco sound.[84] This was the lead single from 1978’s Blondes Have More Fun, which went to number one on the Billboard album charts and sold 3 million albums.[92]

In May 2000, Stewart was diagnosed with thyroid cancer, for which he underwent surgery in the same month. It had been previously reported he suffered from a benign vocal cord nodule.[136] Besides being a major health scare, the resulting surgery also threatened his voice, and he had to re-learn how to sing.[137] Since then he has been active in raising funds for The City of Hope Foundation charity to find cures for all forms of cancer, especially those affecting children.[136] In September 2019, Stewart revealed that he was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2017, and has been given the all-clear after treatment.[138]

Before returning to the UK, Stewart played for his LA Exiles team made up of mostly English expatriates plus a few celebrities, including Billy Duffy of The Cult, in a senior soccer league in Palos Verdes, California.[139]

Despite his father being a supporter of Hibernian,[140] Stewart is a supporter of Celtic, which he mentions in “You’re in My Heart“. He supports the Scotland national team and follows Manchester United as his English side, and he explains his love affair with both Celtic and Manchester United in Frank Worrall’s book, Celtic United.[141] Stewart clarifies this more in his 2012 book (pp 163–64), Rod: The Autobiography, mentioning he “only had an attachment to Manchester United in the 1970s, but that was because they had so many great Scottish players in the 1970s, including Denis Law … When I did eventually click with a team, it was Celtic”. He presented Celtic with the trophy after they won the 2015 Scottish League Cup Final.[142]

Stewart is a model railway enthusiast. His 23 ft × 124 ft (7.0 m × 37.8 m) HO scale layout in his Los Angeles home is modelled after the New York Central and the Pennsylvania Railroads during the 1940s. Called the Three Rivers City, the layout was featured in the cover story of the December 2007, December 2010, February 2014, and June 2017 issues of Model Railroader magazine. In the 2007 article, Stewart said that it meant more to him to be in a model railroad magazine than a music magazine. The layout, which has a mainline run of 900 ft (270 m), uses code 70 flextrack and a Digital Command Control (DCC) system made by Digitrax.[143][144] Stewart has a second, smaller layout at his UK home, based on Britain’s East Coast Main Line. In a sidebar[145] to the 2014 Model Railroader article, Stewart admitted (in an anecdote about his having unwittingly mixed red scenery texturing material into a “turf” mix he used around the bases of buildings) that he is colour-blind.[146][147]

A car collector, Stewart owns one of the 400 Ferrari Enzos. In 1982, Stewart was car-jacked on Los Angeles’ Sunset Boulevard while he was parking his $50,000 Porsche.[148] The car was subsequently recovered.

In September 2002, Stewart’s son, Sean, was sentenced to three months in jail for attacking a man outside a restaurant in Los Angeles. Sean Stewart was also required to pay compensation and to attend anger management, drug and alcohol treatment courses.[149]

Rod Stewart was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2007 New Year Honours for services to music. Collecting it in July 2007 at Buckingham Palace, Stewart commented: “It’s a marvellous occasion. We’re the only country in the world to honour the common man.”[150] He was knighted in the 2016 Birthday Honours for “services to music and charity”.[4]

In 2017, Stewart endorsed Conservative Party leader and incumbent Prime Minister Theresa May ahead of the snap general election held that year.[151]

Stewart was estimated to have a fortune of £180 million in the Sunday Times Rich List of 2018, making him one of the 20 wealthiest people in the British music industry.[152]

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