Sir Rod Stewart’s Colorfully Complex Love Life

Sir Rod Stewart’s probably just as well known for his liaisons with women as he is for his rock ’n’ roll music and raspy singing voice. The singer, songwriter, and record producer was born and raised in London, but his relationships span the globe.

Rod Stewart / Rod Stewart, Alana / Rachel Hunter, Rod Stewart / Penny Lancaster, Rod Stewart.
Source: Getty Images

With his distinctive, raspy voice and spiked mullet, Rod Stewart is one of the best-selling pop and rock artists of his time, with over 250 million records sold worldwide. So why is it that the world just can’t stop talking about his love life? Well, let’s find out.

Married Too Young

Born in 1945, Rod Stewart currently has 8 children with 5 different women. In fact, Rod once admitted that he was beginning to get bored of sex after sleeping with many, many models. But believe it or not, he married young!

Rod Stewart and Alana Stewart pose for a wedding portrait.
Photo by Donaldson Collection/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Rod married his first wife, Alana Stewart, back in 1979 when the singer was 34 years old, even though his father told Rod the marriage was too soon. The couple lasted five years, and got divorced in 1984.

His Party Days Had Only Just Begun

In 2021, Rod admitted his first marriage failed because he had more “living, partying, drinking and shagging to do.” Although the couple held on for five years, the rockstar lifestyle put a massive strain on their relationship.

Rod Stewart sits next to his wife and friends during a party.
Photo by Robin Platzer/IMAGES/Getty Images

Alana is an American actress, author, producer, and former model born in San Diego. The couple had two children – Kimberly Stewart in 1979 and Sean Stewart in 1980. Kimberly is a fashion designer, socialite and model, and Sean is a reality TV star.

Alana Wasn’t His First Love

That award goes to Suzanne Hourde, who was Rod’s sweetheart when they were teens. She’s now 68, but the pair dated more than 50 years ago and had a love child who is approaching her 50th birthday. Rod immortalized the pair’s romance in a song called Brighton Beach.

A photo of Rod and Suzanne.
Source: Pinterest

However, Suzanne wasn’t happy about it. Rod’s sentiments and declarations of love churned up difficult memories and caused anger and distress at what she feels is a revisionist take on their relationship. Rod said they were forced to give their baby daughter up for adoption because of Suzanne’s father.

He Turned His Back

Suzanne, however, says Rod turned his back on their relationship as soon as she told him she was pregnant, and has completely ignored her ever since. Their daughter says he’s only recently been back in touch with her biological father after 50 years without him.

A photo of Suzanne today / A picture of Suzanne then.
Photo by Mark Large/ Ben Lister

Suzanne says Rod’s neglect has blighted their daughter Sarah’s life, as well as her own. “Over the years he has made both me and Sarah suffer,” she told the Daily Mail. “He’s wasted so many years of both our lives, so this is nothing but hypocrisy as far as I am concerned.”

He Messed Up Her Life

Suzanne says he messed up his daughter’s life – however she doesn’t blame him for the way he behaved in the ‘60s because he was young and foolish and had big ambitions. But she does blame him for disconnecting from herself and Sarah.

A dated picture of Suzanne.
Source: YouTube

Suzanne hasn’t spoken to Rod in decades or seen Sarah for over 20 years. When Suzanne met Rob, she was a rebellious art student living in London who’d run away from home and was working in a shop to pay for her rent.

Love Blossomed in A Club

Suzanne and Rod ran with the same crowds and connected in a nightclub when they were both just 16 years old. “He had a lot of charisma. The first thing I remember we did was go on an Aldermaston anti-nuclear march together,” said Suzanne.

An image of Rod Stewart performing on stage.
Photo by Fin Costello/Redferns/Getty Images

She remembers him as working-class and working as a grave-digger at Highgate Cemetery – and very much one of the lads. However, when Rod found out Suzanne was pregnant, he was horrified and wanted to end the relationship almost immediately.

Reality vs. Fantasy

This is why Suzanne has such issue with Rod’s highly romanticized version of their relationship. In Brighton Beach, he sings: “I swear to God, I could not have loved you any more… I sit here playing with my kids and wonder where you are in this world… do you ever stop and think about me?”

A photo of Rod Stewart during a rehearsal.
Photo by Leonard Burt/Central Press/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

However, Suzanne was kicked out of her apartment and ended up in a house for teenage mothers. Her parents were no longer talking to her and she had zero support, including from the baby’s father. She gave birth alone on November 6, 1963, at London’s Whittington Hospital.

The Rockstar Life Was Calling

Blissfully unaware and detached from the anguish of his ex, Rod started to make his dreams a reality, playing shows all around London. That’s when he met model Jennie Rylance, and they started a relationship for two years, from 1965 to 1967.

A dated portrait of Rod attending a party.
Photo by Robin Platzer/IMAGES/Getty Images

It was during these years that Rod’s career truly began to take off. In 1964, he joined Long John Baldry and the All Stars before joining the Jeff Beck Group in 1967. There’s no doubt he was beginning to embark on one hell-of-a rock ’n’ roll journey.

And Then There Was Dee

Dee Harrington is thought to be one of Rod’s first series girlfriends. She revealed recently that on their first night together he wore her underwear, and he had a real sexual appetite. She said he wanted to marry her after three months.

A picture of Dee Harrington and Rod.
Photo by Fox Photos/Getty Images

However, Dee said she did not want to continue dating him after he became obsessed with his image in the media and started to act out the role of an out-of-control rockstar. The pair dated from to 1975 but split when she caught him on a date with model Britt Ekland.

A Taste for Models

Britt wasn’t just some fling – the pair dated for 2 years and had a highly publicized affair. They moved in together shortly after meeting and Britt even gave up her modelling career to focus on their relationship.

A photo of Britt and Rod arriving at an event.
Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Britt was a Bond girl and had starred in The Man with the Golden Gun, The Wicker Man and Get Carter with Michael Caine. They were introduced in 1975 by their mutual friend, Dame Joan Collins, and fell in love right away.

Tonight’s the Night (Gonna Be Alright)

Rod was clearly devoted to his new partner and wrote the hit song Tonight’s the Night (Gonna Be Alright) about her. “We were madly in love, we were absolutely obsessed with each other,” she said. “Meeting Rod Stewart and falling in live, so madly in love, was amazing.”

A picture of Britt and Rod smiling at each other during an interview.
Photo by Tim Boxer/Getty Images

They lived together for 2 years, however the relationship ended when Britt found out Rod had been having an affair behind her back. “I stated quite clearly at the very beginning of the relationship that I would not accept him having any affairs.” She was heartbroken when the relationship ended.

So, What Made Him Tie the Knot?

After a string of unsuccessful relationships shrouded in mistrust and affairs, why did Rod decide to tie the knot with Alana? The actress and model had previously been married to actor George Hamilton, by the way. It seems that Rod just can’t get enough of the models.

A photo of Alana and Rod smiling at the camera.
Photo by Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection/Getty Images

So, he married Alana after a few months, and they had their first child that same year. She was devastated when they broke up 5 years later, after he had an affair with another blonde model, Kelly Emberg. Rod has since admitted he’s broken a lot of hearts.

Better Days Ahead

Despite the turbulent and cowardly way Rod ended his relationship with Alana, the two are good friends now and they often spend time together as a family. “I can’t make Rod out to be the total villain and me the innocent victim, even though he was the one having the affair,” says Alana.

Rod and Alana share a laugh during an event.
Photo by J. Vespa/WireImage/Getty Images

Their son Sean starred in Sons of Hollywood, a reality TV show in America, while their daughter Kimberley – the model and fashion designer – also starred in the 1999 film Black and White with Robert Downey Jr. and Jared Leto.

The Next Model

Rod had been having an affair with Kelly Emberg for several months before the break-up of his marriage. 15 years his junior, the Sports Illustrated model fell hopelessly in love with Rod, just as many women had before her. Sadly, though, she knew it wasn’t good for her.

A photo of Rod leaning his head on Kelly’s shoulder as they walk the street.
Photo by Tom Wargacki/WireImage/Getty Images

Rod admitted that he treated Kelly terribly. The couple had one daughter, Ruby, and stayed together for 7 years – the longest of his relationships so far. However, he was not faithful and Kelly’s self-confidence and happiness eroded during their tumultuous relationship.

Thoughts of Breaking Up

Kelly often considered breaking up with this man who she could not trust and who was constantly on the road, living the rock ’n’ roll lifestyle. “It is very hard being in love with someone and knowing they are wrong for you,” she said.

A dated picture of Kelly and Rod / Kelly attending an event.
Photo by Vinnie Zuffante, Michael Ochs Archives, Getty Images / Paul Archuleta, FilmMagic, Getty Images

“I thought about breaking up with Rod for a year before I finally made the decision to do it. But once I turned 30 and had a good look at my life and situation, I realized Rod didn’t want to marry me.” Since then, the pair have made amends and are great friends.

Second Marriage Incoming

It was clearly love at first sight for Rod when he met New Zealand model Rachel Hunter in a nightclub in 1991. So much so, that after just weeks into dating he asked her to marry him and they tied the knot 3 months later.

A dated picture of Rachel and Rod during a party.
Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage/Getty Images

Phew, for a dude who loves having affairs he sure does like a good wedding! Rachel is 26 years younger than Rod and gave birth to their daughter, Renee, in 1992, followed by their son, Liam, in 1994. But things took a real twist in 1999…

Rachel Leaves Rod

For the first time in his relationship history, Rod was the one who was walked out on. Rachel left the rockstar in 1999, leaving him heartbroken. He couldn’t believe it. “I was a rock star. You don’t dump a rock star! It knocked me for six. It was a huge shock.”

Rachel Hunter attends an event.
Photo by Rodin Eckenroth/WireImage/Getty Images

In hindsight, the rockstar reflects that the age gap probably had something to do with it. She was 21 when they walked down the aisle and had her first child a year later. Rod’s sister, Mary, warned him she was too young, and in retrospect she was correct.

Planning To Leave

In a 2001 interview with The Mirror, Rachel said that she’d been trying to figure out how to leave him, even though it looked like they were living in a fairytale. “To the outside world, I was the mother of two beautiful kids, a wife to Rod and a successful model without any financial worries – but inside, I was in torment.”

Rachel embraces Rod at an event.
Photo by Nick Harvey/WireImage/Getty Images

She said that at the age of 29, she’d spent her entire 20s with another person’s group of friends. She didn’t feel like she’d done anything for herself and said she didn’t even have a hobby. She didn’t know who she was outside of her marriage to Rod.

And Yet, Another Divorce

In 2006, the pair officially divorced, and even though it was the right decision for Rachel, she feels she’ll never get over the guilt and anguish she feels at leaving Rod. She describes him as distraught and broken, and that’s something she struggles to live with even today.

A picture of Liam Stewart.
Photo by Michael Cooper/Getty Images

Today, though, the pair are on good terms and their son Liam is now a hockey star and plays professionally for the Milton Keynes Lighting team. So, would Rod’s heartbreak finally teach him how to rectify his ways and stay faithful? Let’s find out…

Enter Penny Lancsater

Penny Lancaster is Rod’s third and current wife, and the person Rod finally seemed able to commit to. The pair met in 1999, around the time the singer finalized his divorce with his second wife, Rachel.

A photo of Rod embracing Penny.
Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

Penny, born in 1971, is an English model and TV personality and a police officer. As a young woman, Penny loved dancing and aerobics, and became a certified fitness trainer in her early 20s. However, she’s over 6 foot tall, so she was soon scouted by a modelling agency.

Love At First Sight

Penny and Rod met when she was a photography student. By this time, Rod was one of the biggest rockstars on planet earth, so their romance was probably more of a hurricane than a whirlwind for young Penny.

A photo of Penny Lancaster, Rod Stewart & Kimberly Stewart during an event.
Photo by L. Busacca/WireImage/Getty Images

Their romance blossomed after Penny followed Rod on tour to take photographs of him as he strutted his stuff on and off stage. This period in time sparked their seven-year courtship, which ended in their marriage and a thriving, happy family.

That Brings the Total To 8

After what appears to be a steady and drama-free courtship, the pair married in June 2007 in Italy. 2 years before, Penny gave birth to her and Rod’s first child Alistair, and in 2011 she gave birth to child number 8, Aiden.

A photo of Penny and Rod at their wedding.
Photo by Daniele Venturelli/WireImage/Getty Images

So, what’s the secret to Rod and Penny’s successful marriage? Well, in an interview with People Magazine in 2021 Rod said that intimacy has been the key to his successful partnership with Penny. “I’m not talking about sex, but a kiss and a cuddle and a hold. Penny and I do that every morning,” he said. Rod Stewart had to hit his 70s to finally commit to a woman.

A Father of 8

So how does he manage all these children from all these mothers? Rod says he has to be a different father to each child, as they’re all different ages. “You really have to treat all of them as individuals with individual problems,” he says.

A photo of the Stewart family.
Photo by Michael Cooper/Getty Images

He told People Magazine how his 15-year-old had only just started dating girls, so he needs to talk to him about sex. “I just told him what he should and shouldn’t do, but he’s on top of it. He was like, ‘Dad, I’ve got the internet. I know everything.’” Like father, like son.

Trouble In Paradise?

Recently, rumors have been flying that Rod and Penny are on the rocks. In an unearthed interview from Australian magazine Life last year, Rod said he and Penny had split up, leaving fans upset and confused.

Penny and Rod attend an event.
Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images

However, he later revealed that they had only broken up for a short period of time and they were in fact back together. He said their split inspired his cover of the Tom Waits song Picture in a Frame from his 2013 album Time.

Tamed By Penny

After 14 years together, there’s no doubt that Rod was finally tamed by Penny. After 2 failed marriages, 8 children and a lot of heartbreak, it seems that he’s finally settled down and feels at peace with monogamy.

A photo of Rod and Penny arriving at an event.
Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images

“I won’t say it’s trial and error. That’s impolite,” he once said about settling down and his past relationships. He’s also known to have said, ”Instead of getting married again, I’m going to find a woman I don’t like and just give her a house.”

Rock ’n’ Roll Forever

Rod’s been a busy bee since his marriage to Penny. In 2011, he performed with Stevie Nicks on their Heart & Soul tour, and rocked out on arenas all across America, from Florida to California to New York state.

Rod Stewart and Stevie Nicks perform on stage.
Photo by Chris McKay/FilmMagic/Getty Images

Despite his shenanigans, the world just can’t seem to get enough of this rocker, and he made headlines with his stand-out performance at Hard Rock Calling festival in Hyde Park in 2011. Then Rod signed a two-year residency at Caesar’s Palace in Vegas.

The Autobiography

In 2012, Rod published a tell-all autobiography sharing all the nitty gritty details of his tumultuous love-life and ever-rotating relationships. He talks about his love for cars, clothes, practical jokes, sex with models, private jets, drugs, alcohol, and football.

Rod holds his autobiography book posing for the press.
Photo by Andrew Milligan/PA Images/Getty Images

In his book, he shares secrets to his never-changing hairstyle and his journey from a young working-class man to one of the world’s biggest rockstars. He writes about his first date with Kelly Emberg and his never-ending reel of mistresses.

Rod’s Heroes and Hairstyles

In a feature with The Guardian, Rod revealed that his heroes weren’t the smooth, well-groomed crooners, but beatniks like Eddie Cochran, Otis Redding, Sam Cooke, Bobby Womack and David Ruffin.

A photo of Sam Cooke performing on stage.
Photo by Ben Martin/Getty Images

He revealed that he used to go to the hairdressers with Marc Bolan, and that his hairstyle was inspired by the punks and mods of London’s swinging 60s scene. He also revealed that he uses mayonnaise to keep his hair in shape (you decide whether he’s being serious or not).

Something Missing

Despite his whirlwind romances, Rod opened up in a 2021 interview to say he never felt a true connection with most of his partners. He noted that he had “nothing to say” to the women he was involved with, and he found himself constantly longing for romance.

A portrait of Rod Stewart.
Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImage/Getty Images

He said it was only when he met Penny that he truly found love. Amazingly, he met Penny just 5 days after Rachel filed for divorce, but he didn’t ask her out until 6 months later because he knew it would be too soon to start a new relationship.

Intimacy Is Everything

Speaking candidly about his past relationships, Rod said that in his rockstar days, sex was so readily available to him that it became routine and boring and it jaded his idea of what true intimacy looks like. “I did nothing wrong at all,” he adds. “I never had sex with anybody underage, never forced anybody to have sex.”

Rod attends an event.
Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images

Rod admits that although he had access to a ton of beautiful women, they had nothing to say to each other at the end of an evening. “I would long for one woman in my life, I longed to be in a romance, a relationship that was a lot deeper than just sex,” he said. “And I found it.”

The Tears of Hercules

In November 2021, Rod released his latest studio album The Tears of Hercules, the 32nd album the artist had written to date. The album acts as an autobiography of sorts, addressing his past relationships with themes of sex, love, and loss.

Rod performs on stage.
Photo by Dave J Hogan/Getty Images

Rod co-wrote nine of the album’s tracks with Kevin Savigar and Emerson Swinford. One of the most popular tracks, I Can’t Imagine, is about his relationship with Penny and displays the true breadth and depth of his love for his current wife.

Mixed Reviews

Despite the album being arguably one of Rod’s most personal and honest to date, it was met with mixed reviews. One critic wrote that Rod is “in a decidedly looser frame of mind” compared to his mindset when he released his previous album Time.

A picture of Rod celebrating his album
Photo by Sean Dempsey/PA Images/Getty Images

A writer for Classic Rock Magazine said that Rod has “always been a master interpreter of other people’s material” and described the opening track as an atmospheric ballad which isn’t necessarily a bad or a good thing. American Songwriter magazine said “a few moments almost save this from moving into the “better luck next time” pile.”

Not All Smooth Sailing

Despite being happy and at peace in his relationship, Rod Stewart isn’t able to avoid trouble entirely. In 2019, he and his son were accused of assaulting a security guard after being denied access to a private event in a hotel in Florida.

Rod performs on stage.
Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImage/Getty Images

Rod and Alana Stewart’s son, Sean, is said to have pushed the security guard while Rod then struck him in the chest with a closed fist. The pair both pleaded guilty to the charges, which is a misdemeanor count of “simple battery.”

Conviction Awaits

The pair will not have to go to court, they will not spend time in jail, and they will not be fined or put on probation, Rod’s lawyer says. However, their reputations are likely to be damaged and it goes to show that even rockstars lose their cool when they don’t get what they want.

Rod Stewart visits The Graham Norton Show.
Photo by Yui Mok/PA Images/Getty Images

Rod’s lawyer said, “No-one was injured in the incident and a jury did not find Sir Rod Stewart guilty of the accusation. Instead, Sir Rod Stewart decided to enter a plea to avoid the inconvenience and unnecessary burden on the court and the public that a high-profile proceeding would cause.”

On Cloud Nine

Rod was awarded a CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) in November 2005 and was knighted in Buckingham Palace in 2016. He said he was “on cloud nine” after receiving one of the highest accolades in British society.

A photo of Prince William greeting Rod Stewart.
Photo by Andy Stenning/WPA Pool/Getty Images

Sir Rod, as he’s now affectionately known, was congratulated by Prince William on his long and fruitful career, and was accompanied by Penny and their two kids, Alastair and Aiden. When the duke told Rod, “It’s great that you’re still going,” Rod replied with: “I have to – I’ve got eight children!”

Elton vs. Rod

In November 2021, Rod admitted that he and long-time friend Elton John are no longer on speaking terms. Rod said the two music legends became embroiled in a feud back in 2018, and began swapping insults in the press after Rod said Elton’s farewell “stinks of grabbing money.”

An image of Elton John and Rod Stewart performing together on stage.
Photo by Denise Truscello/WireImage/Getty Images

Elton hit back in his autobiography, Candle In The Wind, saying he wouldn’t accept advice on “rock and roll from someone who’d spent most of the last decade crooning his way through the Great American Songbook and Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas.” Yikes!

Tried To Make Amends

In 2021, Rod claimed he and Elton had put the past behind them and called time on the feud, however, he later revealed that it wasn’t that simple, and their relationship was damaged as a result of their previous shots fired.

A dated picture of Elton John and Rod Stewart during a party.
Photo by Graham Wiltshire/Getty Images

When the PA news agency asked Rod if he would ever collaborate with Elton, he said “No chance. Scotland have got more chance of winning the World Cup than that ever happening. No, we don’t talk at all now. If we talk, we do it through the press.”

The Media Sees All

Rod went on to say that if he were to say anything about his relationship with Elton, the media will pick it up and twist it to reignite their feud. He then added that he doesn’t think he even has Elton’s cell phone number anymore.

A dated portrait of Elton John and Rod Stewart.
Photo by Evening Standard/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Rod then went on to say, “It went on for years and years and years. I think we still adore each other. I think we have just grown apart like lovers do sometimes.” That’s romantic in a way, and something Rod is very familiar with given his relationship history.

A Bit Spiteful

Rod’s clearly getting soft in his old age, as he says he seriously regrets a number of things he said to Elton at the height of their feud. He said that he’d always been playfully competitive with Elton over the years, but in 2018 he stepped over the line, and it became spiteful.

A photo of Rod leaving an event.
Photo by Ricky Vigil/GC Images/Getty Images

Rod said that he always teaches his kids to apologies, and that’s why he told the media that he really regrets his comments. Rod said: “The last time I emailed him and said, ‘I have this football pitch, would you like the boys to come up’, because they both love football. ‘You don’t have to come, [but] if they want to come up and play on this, they’re quite welcome.”

A North American Tour

Even at the age of 77, Rod Stewart just can’t quit that rockstar life. He recently announced his first North American tour in 4 years is planned for summer 2022 and plans to rock out to thousands of fans over 19 dates with special guests Cheap Trick.

Rod and Penny arrive at an event.
Photo by Ricky Vigil M/GC Images/Getty Images

Rod is well known for his high-energy, larger-than-life stage shows and after decades of touring it seems his fans still can’t get enough of it. His summer shows are on track to sell out and he’s promised tons of old favorites as well as new music to anyone who attends.

From Rockstar to Philanthropist

Rod has been very outspoken about his thoughts and feelings about Russia’s recent invasion of Ukraine. He’s been funding safe passage to the UK for people fleeing war in Ukraine, with Rod’s efforts moving Chris Evans to tears on his breakfast show.

Rod speaks on stage / A dated picture of Rod performing.
Photo by JMEnternational, Getty Images / Michael Putland, Getty Images

Live on Chris’s show, Penny revealed that Rod had been paying drivers to transport refugees from Ukraine to the UK. This came after a message of support from Rod to a security firm that’s been driving supplies to Ukraine. But this isn’t the first time Rod’s offered his hand to those in need.

In Rod We Trust

Rod Stewart works with a plethora of charities and organizations, and often writes songs to raise money for causes close to his heart. He donated a huge amount of cash to Trach Mommas of Louisiana, to help raise awareness of medical cuts to disability allowances in the USA.

Rod Stewart performs during a ball benefiting foundation event.
Photo by Getty Images/Getty Images

The rocker always helped raise money for the NHS during the pandemic by auctioning off some of his personal belongings, including a signed Celtic top, a Cartier watch and a signed picture of himself receiving his knighthood.

Paying It Forward

So, there you have it. Rod Stewart may have broken a few hearts and homes over his wild and colorful career, but it seems that he’s really turned things around in his old age. He found a happy and stable relationship, he’s on good terms with all his children and he’s paying it forward with generous donations to those in need.

A dated portrait of Rod Stewart.
Photo by Michael Putland/Getty Images

As he nears his 80s, let’s not forget the musical legacy Rod has gifted the world and continues to share with his tours, studio albums and charity compilations. There’s no doubt about it, Rod still has the energy and drive of a 20-year-old!