10th January 1945

Musician Rod Stewart is born

Roderick David Stewart was born in London to a Scottish father and English mother. Although well known as both a solo artist and a member of The Faces, his first involvement with a group was as harmonica player for the Dimensions.

He cut his first solo single in 1964 and, towards the end of the decade, he joined the Jeff Beck Group. In 1969, he both recorded a solo album, called An Old Raincoat Won’t Ever Let You Down, and, shortly thereafter, joined the Small Faces. The New York Times, in its 6 June 1997 obituary of fellow band-member Ronnie Lane, wrote that “the group became the Faces, and gradually turned into Mr. Stewart’s backup band.”

Chart success

Stewart continued recording solo albums while performing with The Faces, and hit the top of the British, Canadian, Australian and US charts with Maggie May in summer 1971. Rolling Stone magazine ranked it the 131st greatest song of all time, one spot ahead of U2’s With or Without You, noting that “the song, a last-minute addition to Every Picture Tells a Story, was initially the B side of “Reason to Believe.” Stewart has joked that if a DJ hadn’t flipped the single over, he’d have gone back to his old job: digging graves.”

In the mid-1970s, he moved to America and recorded The First Cut is the Deepest, Do Ya Think I’m Sexy, and Sailing, the latter of which was to become one of the biggest-selling singles of his career. 

In 2013, he was the opening act for Glasgow’s new SSE Hydro.

Private life

Although Stewart later moved back to the UK, he retained his home in Los Angeles where, according to a July 2019 post by Hello magazine, he and wife Penny Lancaster “spend a lot of their summers”. Lancaster and Stewart married in 2007.

He has been diagnosed with cancer twice – initially with throat cancer and latterly with prostate cancer. According to the Mirror, he “was diagnosed with the disease in February 2016 during a routine check-up and secretly fought it for three years.” He now works to raise awareness of issues surrounding cancer.

He was appointed a CBE in the 2007 New Year Honours for services to music, and knighted – to become Sir Rod Stewart – in 2016.



Other events that occured in January

FREE Scotland history newsletter

Don't miss our weekly update on Scotland's fascinating history. We promise never to sell your data to anyone else, and there's a super-easy unsubscribe link on the bottom of each email so you can leave whenever you want.