The rock legend was being interviewed by The Times when he was asked whether he thought that there were still songwriters creating timeless songs.
“I’m sure they are,” he replied. “You mean like ‘Maggie May’? Songs that will be played in 50 years? I like whatshisname…he’s British, really talented….” When the interviewer suggested if he was referring to Sheeran, Stewart retorted: “No, not Ed, I don’t know any of his songs, old ginger [redacted]. Jesus…”
Instead, Stewart began to sing the refrain of Ezra’s ‘Shotgun’. “I think he writes tremendous songs,” he said. “He’ll be around for quite a while.”
Stewart’s new album ‘Swing Fever’, a collaboration with Jools Holland and his Rhythm & Blues Orchestra, is released on February 23, made up of 13 covers of classic Broadway songs.
He continued in the interview by comparing what he perceives to be the difference in motivation between his generation and the current group of popstars. “We were brave in those days to go into the music business,” he said. “We didn’t know where it would take us but record companies were different. They would give you a try.”
“Also, the people I came up with — The [Rolling] Stones, Elton [John] — we all came into it because we loved the music. Money and fame didn’t factor — it was a burning ambition to sing. That may have changed. Now it’s more, ‘Ooh, let’s have a go at music. I don’t even have to play well. Maybe I’ll get rich.’ Fame comes before everything. All kids want is fame.”
Stewart ended 2023 by giving staff at the Gleneagles Hotel in Scotland a tip of £10,000, as well as some advice on how to spend it.
“I’ve been lucky enough to stay in some of the top hotels in the world and the service at Gleneagles is second to none,” he said. “The staff do a terrific job at a very hectic time of the year and deserve every penny. It’s Scottish hospitality at its very best.”
“I advised the boys and girls at Gleneagles to invest the money wisely,” he added. “Stick the lot on Scotland to win the Euros.”
This isn’t the first time that Stewart has made headlines for his generosity. Back in February he visited his local NHS hospital in Harlow, Essex and paid for a day’s worth of MRI scans to help reduce the waiting lists.
The artist said he wanted to prove that he wasn’t “all mouth and no trousers” amid his comments about the state of the NHS. He also said he wanted to pay for scans elsewhere in the UK.
In other Rod Stewart news, last year it was reported that the artist had turned down a big offer to perform in Saudi Arabia due to the country’s human rights issues.
The rock veteran was rumoured to have been offered the biggest money sum of his career to bring his show to the Middle East but declined due to the kingdom’s discrimination against women, LGBTQ+ people and the press.