In a career now entering its fifth decade, Stewart has achieved 27 top 10 hit singles worldwide. He is widely recognized as among the best interpretive singers of recent times, and has consistently been a presence on the charts since the early 1970s.
Formerly with The Jeff Beck Group, former grave-digger, Rod Stewart, launched his solo career in 1969 with the catchy-sounding An Old Raincoat Won't Ever Let You Down, a mix of folk, blues and country, which immediately stood out because of Stewart's raspy vocals. Gasoline Alley followed in 1970, backed by a national tour, but it was Every Picture Tells a Story (1971) that really put Rod Stewart's name up in lights, with the title track and what was then a B-side, “Maggie May”, garnering most attention. In between solo albums, Stewart's other project, The Faces, were also enjoying success, their single “Stay With Me” often being mistaken for a Stewart solo effort. It was in 1972 that tensions first started showing within The Faces, as Stewart's solo career was evidently proving more successful than when he was in the band, but they still toured extensively over the next few years to great acclaim. More solo hits like “You Wear It Well” and “Farewell”, convinced Stewart that his future lay as a solo artist and he made the decision to disband The Faces in 1975, after the end of their US tour.
Moving to Los Angeles that year (he was dating actress Britt Ekland at the time), Stewart released Atlantic Crossing, which gave him the UK No.1 hit “Sailing”, while A Night On The Town (1976) sent the single “Tonight's The Night” to the top of the US Singles Chart. The end of the 1970s saw a few more albums, characterised by Stewart's penchant for one 'slow' side and one 'fast' side, with Foot Loose & Fancy Free spawning the hit “You're In My Heart”, and Blondes Have More Fun...Or Do They? producing arguably Stewart's most famous hit, “Do Ya Think I'm Sexy?” which was, ironically, the one most loathed by critics.
The 1980s were a bit hit and miss for Stewart, on the one hand achieving yet another UK No.1 with “Baby Jane”, but suffering fierce criticism for breaking the Artists Against Apartheid ban on performing at South Africa's Sun City Resort, which Stewart did in 1983. His peers did not forgive him for a long time, and the rest of the 1980s and much of the 1990s saw a few Top 10 and 20 hits in the UK, but not much else. Stewart became fashionable again after a cover album of Britpop hits on When We Were The New Boys (1999) proved a hit with the younger crowd, and between 2002-2009, his Great American Songbook series sold millions and re-established him as one of the world's bestselling acts. Numerous high-profile relationships and marriages to attractive, blonde women, also helped keep Stewart in the gossip columns.
In 2011, Rod Stewart signed a two-year contract to perform exclusively at the Colosseum at Caesar's Palace, Las Vegas, following in the footsteps of other Vegas residents Celine Dion, Elton John and Cher.
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