Sir Roderick David Stewart is a British rock and pop singer, songwriter, and record producer. With his distinctive raspy singing voice, Stewart is one of the best-selling music artists of all time, having sold over two hundred million records worldwide. He has had ten number-one albums and thirty-one top ten singles in the UK, six of which reached number one. Stewart has had sixteen top ten singles in the US, with four reaching number one on the Billboard Hot 100. He was knighted in the 2016 Birthday Honours for services to music and charity.
Stewart’s music career began in 1962 when he took up busking with a harmonica. In October 1963, he joined The Dimensions as harmonica player and vocalist. In 1964, Stewart joined Long John Baldry and the All Stars before joining The Jeff Beck Group in 1967. Becoming the singer for the Faces in 1969, he also maintained a solo career releasing his debut solo album that same year. Stewart’s early albums were a fusion of rock, folk music, soul music, and R&B. His third solo album, 1971’s Every Picture Tells a Story was his breakthrough, topping the charts in the UK, US, Canada, and Australia. The ballad “Maggie May” went to number one for multiple weeks in those same countries. His 1972 follow-up album, Never a Dull Moment, was another UK and Australian chart-topper while reaching the top three in the US and Canada. Its lead single, “You Wear It Well”, also topped the chart in the UK while being a moderate hit elsewhere.
After a handful more UK top ten hits, Stewart announced the breakup of the Faces in 1975. His next few singles were ballads with “Sailing”, off the 1975 UK and Australian number-one album, Atlantic Crossing, becoming a hit in the UK and the Netherlands, Germany, and other countries, but barely charting in North America. A Night on the Town, released in 1976, his fifth straight chart-topper in the UK, began a three-album run of going number one or top three in North America, the UK, and Australia with each release. That album’s “Tonight’s the Night (Gonna Be Alright)” spent almost two months at number one in the US and Canada, and made the top five in other countries. Foot Loose and Fancy Free, released in 1977, featured the major hit “You’re In My Heart (The Final Acclaim)” as well as the rocker “Hot Legs”. Blondes Have More Fun, released in 1978, and its disco-tinged “Da Ya Think I’m Sexy” both went to number one in Canada, Australia, and the US, with “Da Ya Think I’m Sexy” also hitting number one in the UK and the top ten in other countries. Stewart’s albums regularly hit the upper rungs of the charts in the Netherlands throughout the seventies and in Sweden from 1975 onward.
After a disco and new wave period in the late 1970s and early 1980s, Stewart’s music turned to a soft rock/middle-of-the-road style, with most of his albums reaching the top ten in the UK, Germany and Sweden, but faring less well in the US. The single “Rhythm of My Heart” was a top five hit in the UK, US, and other countries, with its source album, 1990’s Vagabond Heart, becoming, at number ten in the US and number two in the UK, his highest charting album in a decade. In 1993, he collaborated with Bryan Adams and Sting on the power ballad “All for Love”, which went number one in many countries. In the early 2000s, he released a series of successful albums interpreting the Great American Songbook.
In 2008, Billboard magazine ranked him the seventeenth most successful artist on the “Billboard Hot 100 All-Time Top Artists”. A Grammy and Brit Award recipient, he was voted at thirty-three in Q Magazine’s list of the Top 100 Greatest Singers of all time 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 he was inducted a second time into the US Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012 as a member of Faces.