16 Crazy Facts About Rod Stewart: His Job as a Grave Digger, His Arrest, and More

rod stewart on stage in a silver suit holding a microphone
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Rod Stewart is perhaps one of the most successful musicians of all time. He’s best known for his singing and songwriting abilities, but there are many things about him fans may not be familiar with.

If you adore Rod Stewart, you’ve come to the right place. Read on to learn 16 interesting Rod Stewart facts you probably didn’t know.

1. He was an Exceptional Footballer

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First on our list of Rod Stewart facts is that he was an exceptional footballer, playing as captain on his team for the Middlesex Schoolboys. He’s known to have kicked many soccer balls into the audience at his performances.

2. He Was a Gravedigger

image of a cemetary with lots of gravestones
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One of Rod Stewart’s first jobs was working as a gravedigger at HighGate Cemetery in England. The location where he worked is on the English Heritage Register of Parks and Garden of Special Historic Interest.

3. He Tends to Date and Marry Blondes

rod stewart with his wife rachel hunter in 1992
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Rod Stewart is a man who has dated and been married to many women, and it seems he tends to lean more toward blonde ladies. A few of his past lovers include Alana Hamilton, Rachel Hunter, Penny Lancaster, and Britt Eckland.

4. He Has Eight Children

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Rod Stewart has eight children – Sarah Streeter, Kimberly Stewart, Sean Stewart, Ruby Stewart, Renee Stewart, Liam Stewart, Alastair Wallace Stewart, and Aiden Patrick Stewart. The oldest is in her late 50s, and the youngest is entering his teenage years. 

5. He Had Cancer

rod stewart on stage in a camo suit singing into a microphone
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In 2000, Rod Stewart was diagnosed with cancer in his throat and had to have the lump removed. He lost his voice for a while, though he eventually retrained himself to sing after six months of recovery from the surgery.

6. He Has a Model Railway System

an up close view of a model railway system
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Next up on our list of Rod Stewart facts is that he has an intricate model railway system in his Los Angeles home, covering much of the third floor. It’s about 1,500 square feet, which is bigger than many homes.

7. He was a Screen Printer

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Rod Stewart was a screen printer for a while, designing wallpapers to bring homes to life. Unfortunately, he failed to tell his employer he was colorblind, which led to his getting fired.

8. He Almost Crashed in a Plane

musicians who died in plane crashed
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Once upon a time, Rod Stewart was a passenger in a plane that had to make an emergency landing in Sweden after an engine failure when a goose was sucked into the system. He reports it is one of the scariest moments of his life, with the smell of fried goose seared into his memory. 

Related: 12 Musicians Who Died in Car Crashes

9. He Missed His Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Ceremony

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Rod Stewart is a significant part of rock and roll history, so it only makes sense he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994. Unfortunately, he missed his ceremony because of an earthquake in Los Angeles and remained with his family. 

Related: Rod Stweart Brings the Hits

10. He Adores Fast Cars

a red ferrari formerly owned by rod stewart
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Like many prominent figures, Rod Stewart collects and keeps fast vehicles. A few of his collectibles include a 1977 Porsche 911 Turbo Carrera, a Rolls-Royce, and a Ferrari Enzo, just to name a few.

11. He Once Performed In Front Of 3.5 Million People

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In 1994, Rod Stewart hosted a free concert in Rio de Janeiro on New Year’s Eve, proving to be the largest in history with nearly four million people in attendance. Of course, many were there for the spectacular fireworks show afterward.  

Related: The Best Rock Songs of All Time

12. He Was Sued

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Jorge Ben, a Brazilian singer, sued Rod Stewart for his song, “Do You Think I’m Sexy,” because it sounded close to one of his tracks. Ben won and had Stewart pay his earnings from the song to UNICEF as his punishment.

13. He was Deported from Spain

a street in spain paved with the spanish flag
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In the early 60s, Rod Stewart spent his time traversing across Europe. He ended up getting deported from Spain for the crime of vagrancy. 

14. He was Arrested

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Not only was Stewart deported from Spain in the 60s, but he was also arrested. His crime was participating in the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, along with several other protesting individuals. 

15. He was Paid with Car Seat Covers

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There is an infamous story revealing Rod Stewart was once paid with nice car set covers for a singing gig. The job was for Python Lee Jackson, though many say it’s just a rumor and he was actually paid in cash.

16. He was Nicknamed “Rod the Mod”

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Last on our list of Rod Stewart facts is that he earned the nickname “Rod the Mod” in 1964. He earned the nickname because of his style and dress when appearing on The Beat Room for The Hoochie Coochie Men.

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Written by Hope Davis

Long-time music lover Hope became a full-time writer in 2020 after being laid off from her regular job due to COVID-19. She now spends her time traveling the world to see her favorite bands while writing about them!


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