Singer-songwriter Rod Stewart was born Roderick David Stewart on January 10, 1945, in London, England. Born into a working-class family, Stewart excelled at soccer. He worked a series of odd jobs, including working as a grave digger, before his singing career took off.
During the 1960s, Stewart was a part of several different bands. In 1966, he joined the blues-influenced Jeff Beck Group and experienced his first taste of success. The group toured the United Kingdom and the United States and released two hit albums. In 1969, he joined what became known as the Faces. Ron Wood was one of his bandmates and became a member of the Rolling Stones. Stewart also performed as a solo artist and scored his first big solo success with the album Every Picture Tells A Story, which featured the hit single "Maggie May" in 1971. That same year, the Faces had a hit with the song "Stay With Me."
Stewart moved to the United States in 1975. The next year, he reached the top of the U.S. charts with "Tonight's the Night" from A Night on the Town. Stewart continued to have a slicker, more pop sound as the decade progressed. He also developed a reputation for his partying lifestyle and for dating numerous actresses and models. With 1978's Blondes Have More Fun, he had another smash hit single with "Da Ya Think I'm Sexy?"
The 1980s proved to be more challenging for Stewart. While 1981's Tonight I'm Yours went platinum, the albums that followed did not fare as well. He ended the decade on a positive note, however. His remake of the Tom Waits song "Downtown Train" in 1989 received a lot of radio play. A few years later, he released Unplugged and Seated (1993), which was recorded at MTV Unplugged concert and featured the hit "Have I Told You Lately."
With his distinctive throaty, almost scratchy-sounding voice, Stewart decided to take on some of the classic songs and make them his own with It Had to be You: The Great American Songbook (2002). He recorded four volumes of the Great American Songbook series, and won his first Grammy Award (best traditional pop vocal album) for Stardust: The Great American Songbook, Volume III in 2004.