Rod Stewart

Before his notoriety as an international "Ladies Man" and football fanatic, Rod Stewart started his musical career as a credible artist.

After an unsuccessful apprenticeship with Brentford football club, Stewart joined Long John Baldry's group, The Hoochie Coochie Men, in 1964. Only a year later and following a name change to Steampacket, the band was supporting the Rolling Stones on tour.

Joining the Jeff Beck Group as lead vocalist in 1966 gave Stewart his first nationwide exposure. When that band broke up, he joined The Faces, who quickly earned themselves a reputation for being a boozy, boisterous rock and roll band. For the next six years, Stewart would run a parallel solo career, which drew critical acclaim for the warmth of his song writing style.

In 1971, the song 'Maggie May' was his first number one hit internationally and was later named as one of the '500 Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll'. Following a difficult Faces tour in 1972, in which jealousies of Stewart 's solo success emerged, the band released their final album, 'Ooh La La', only for Rod to express his disdain for the record in the press.

A bitter fight with UK tax collectors resulted in Stewart's relocating to glitzy Los Angeles, a move which the singer underlined by the album title 'Atlantic Crossing' and the anthemic single 'Sailing'.

In 1978, he released 'Do Ya Think I'm Sexy', which not only marked a turning point in musical styles, but also sealed the singer's image as a swaggering, preening ladies' man with the tabloids. The critics turned on his more pop-sounding approach as a sell-out to that era's disco trend.

By the eighties, hits like 'Baby Jane' were becoming the exception rather than the rule. With only three Top Ten hits between 1982 and 1988, his chart slump allowed greater focus on his string of blonde girlfriends and wives, like Britt Ekland, Alana Hamilton and Rachel Hunter.

Stewart's popularity as a live concert attraction found a new avenue in the 1990s: MTV's 'Unplugged' sessions afforded older artists like him a whole new generation of fans. Stewart cannily tapped into this with his 1998 album, 'When We Were The New Boys', with its impressive covers of songs by Oasis, Primal Scream and Mike Scott.

His enduring appeal was marked by a new musical, 'Tonight’s The Night' at London's Victoria Palace theatre, featuring many of Stewart's biggest hits. Most recently, he has successfully concentrated on singing standards from the 1930s and 1940s for 'The Great American Songbook'. His interpretation of Irving Berlin, Cole Porter, the Gershwins and other great American songwriters may have met with mixed critical response, but it has been massively successful with the public. Great sales have resulted in five volumes being recorded. The latest, entitled 'Fly Me to the Moon...The Great American Songbook Volume V', was released by J Records on 19 October, 2010.

23 October 2006 saw the release of Rod's 24th studio album - 'Still the Same... Great Rock Classics of our Time.' The following year, Stewart married model Penny Lancaster, with whom he had his seventh child, Alastair Wallace Stewart. In February 2011, Lancaster gave birth to the couple's second son, Aiden Stewart.

The Daily Express interviewed the star about his newborn son and Stewart admitted: "At my age, a new baby is bloody exhausting, it doesn't stop." He is, however, clearly very happy to be a father once more, explaining that he feels "very lucky and proud to have had this happen in [his] life. Knackered or not, Aiden is a beautiful little boy."

Stewart has continued releasing music and in 2009, he recorded 'Rod Stewart Sessions 1971 – 1998', a 65-track compilation of previously unheard tracks. His latest studio albums were 'Merry Christmas, Baby' (2012) and 'Time' (2013).

Throughout his illustrious career, Stewart has picked up numerous awards, not least his CBE, which he received in 2007. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994, and into the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2006. His commercial success was recognised in 2001 when he received a Diamond Award at the World Music Awards for selling over one billion records worldwide.