Rod Stewart has been entertaining audiences worldwide with such hits as “Maggie May” and “Reason to Believe.” And on Friday, he received another accomplishment to his impressive career; a knighthood.
According to Reuters, Stewart was knighted as part of Queen Elizabeth II’s birthday honors list, which honors notable British celebrities, as well as community charity workers. Friday’s event was the beginning of a weekend celebrating the British monarch’s 90th birthday with a string of events.
The 71-year-old Stewart who was honored for his services to music and charity, was among the 1,149 people presented awards, according to The Telegraph.
“I’ve led a wonderful life and have had a tremendous career thanks to the generous support of the great British public,” said Stewart, who referenced his song “You Wear it Well” in his speech.
He continued, “This monumental honor has topped it off and I couldn’t ask for anything more. I thank Her Majesty and promise to ‘wear it well.'”
The Daily Record reported that the London-born singer had made the announcement of his Knighthood at a sold-out concert at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton, England.
“So it’s 10:30 and I have the great pleasure of being able to tell you now, in this hour, that your old mate up here has been knighted by Her Majesty The Queen,” said Stewart, thanking the crowd of around 27,000 concertgoers on stage.
Stewart continued, “I had a funny text from Elton [John] today: It said ‘Congratulations darling, who would have thought a couple of old tarts from North London would be knighted.’ Bless all of you, thank you.”
However, this wasn’t Rod Stewart’s first time meeting with the Queen. As reported by BBC News, Stewart also received a CBE in 2007. Although by 2013, he was wondering why he hadn’t received a knighthood like fellow musicians Tom Jones and Mick Jagger.
”Well, Mick doesn’t pay taxes here, and Tom [Jones] lives in America,” said Stewart, in a July 2013 Radio Times interview. “If my time comes, it will. And if it doesn’t, I’m not bothered. Are you kidding? I never expected a CBE.”
Laura Barton of The Guardian, shared her excitement about Rod Stewart’s knighthood and noted that his musical accomplishments over a 55-year career are worth recognition and shouldn’t be sneered at.
“For every ludicrous sartorial decision, every high-profile liaison or smutty lyric, Stewart has given us double in musical delight,” said Barton, who described Stewart’s signature voice as having “a hoarseness and desperation.”
Barton added, “It is far from perfect; it does not twirl, trill or undulate, but it carries a profound tenderness and a compassion – something kind, warm and close.”
Other well known Brits to receive honors on Friday included Downton Abbey star Penelope Wilton, who was made a Dame, and an OBE was given to the show’s producer Gareth Neame. Journalist and television personality Janet Street-Porter was made a CBE, Emma Samms of Dynasty became an MBE, and the hosting duo of Ant & Dec (real names Anthony McPartlin and Declan Donnelly) were given OBEs. The hosts of Britain’s Got Talent were said to be “incredibly honored,” as well as shocked.
“We are just two ordinary lads from the west end of Newcastle. We absolutely love what we do and have done since we started out aged 13,” they said. “We hope us receiving this honor can inspire young people to chase their dreams and believe that anything is possible.”
Meanwhile, Sir Rod Stewart is continuing on with his stadium tour of the U.K. with the group The Sisterhood consisting of Alyssa Bonagura and his daughter Ruby. The younger Stewart spoke to the Hull Daily Mail about the experience of touring with her famous father.
“So far we’re having a blast. It’s really nice to be touring in the U.K., and we’re looking forward to visiting places that we’ve never been before,” said Stewart. “I think being on this tour is helping we understand what my dad has experienced for all these years.”
[Photo by Raphael Dias/Getty Images]