Roderick David Stewart was born on January 10, 1945 in Highgate, London. His parents are Robert and Elsie Stewart, and he has two brothers and two sisters. He worked many odd jobs before he became a famous, including digging graves. In the early 1960s, he began traveling through Europe and singing folk music. He was reportedly deported from Spain for being a vagrant.
Stewart was in a number of musical groups and bands early in his career, one of the most notable was the Jeff Beck Group, for which he was a vocalist. He toured with them before the group broke up. He also was in the band, The Faces, with Ron Wood. Audiences loved his unique raspy voice, so he put out a few solo albums. These early solo releases were very well received, including the albums Gasoline Alley
, and Every Picture Tells a Story
. The single "Maggie May" became very popular, and cemented his reputation as a talented musician.
Stewart moved to the U.S. in 1975, and not long after had another huge hit with the single, "Da Ya Think I'm Sexy?". His music of this time period has a definite disco influence. Though his career cooled off somewhat in the 80s, he still put out more albums and had a few popular hit songs. In 1993 he recorded an MTV Unplugged
special, and in 1994 was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He was also inducted into the UK Music Hall of Fame, though not until 2006.
Recently Stewart has revived his career by singing old standard songs from the 1930s and 1940s, releasing his "Great American Songbook" albums. He was a guest voice coach for American Idol
Stewart has had a turbulent personal life, being involved with many women, and having several children. He had a daughter with a girlfriend back in the 1960s, though the two weren’t ready to be parents and gave her up for adoption. In the 1970s he dated model Dee Harrington and actress Britt Ekland
. He married Alana Hamilton
in 1979, and the couple had a daughter and a son before they divorced in 1981. Not long after, Stewart dated model Kelly Emberg, and they had a daughter together. He married model Rachel Hunter
in 1990, and had two more children with her before the marriage went sour. He is currently engaged to yet another model, Penny Lancaster
Stewart was treated for thyroid cancer in 1999 and had to retrain his singing voice. He does what he can to raise funds for his favorite charity, "The City of Hope Foundation", which has the mission of finding cures for cancer, particularly in children.