ir Rod Stewart has said he will dedicate an anti-war song to Ukraine on his next tour, as he feels the conflict is “beyond belief now”.
The 77-year-old veteran singer-songwriter recently revealed he is supporting a family of seven Ukrainian refugees by renting them a house and paying their bills.
Sir Rod said he had broken his usual stance of not discussing his charity work as he wanted to inspire others to help people in the war-torn country.
The singer told the PA news agency he would perform his 1991 hit Rhythm Of My Heart, which he described as an “anti-war song”, on the tour which kicks off in Nottingham on November 16.
“I dedicate this to Ukrainians, and we’re bringing a Ukrainian flag and Zelensky (on the big screen),” he said.
Reflecting on how he plans to resolve the conflict, he added: “I use vulgar words to describe Putin.
“And I’m trying to say, ‘Look, it’s not the Russian people’s fault.’ A lot of people were arrested and put in jail.
“It’s a man and his regime, so don’t blame all the Russians. I’ve been to Russia many times and found the friendliest people in the world, really. So it’s not their fault, it’s that asshole.
Sir Rod said he and his wife Penny Lancaster were inspired to take action after witnessing the events of the News War.
“When the war started, in this house, we were shocked beyond shock. Because I was born right after the war and my family went through WWII, and to see another ground war with tanks I never thought we would say the day it was just shocking and c is just beyond belief now.
After the outbreak of war, the singer and his family hired three trucks full of supplies and drove them to the Ukrainian border, before using the same vehicles to transport a group of refugees to safety in Berlin.
He said his family member, Warren Cady, had “helped” organize the project and the home of Ukrainian couple Rostylsav and Olena and their five children.
Sir Rod said he hoped speaking out about these actions could inspire others to help in any way possible.
“I am a knight, I have to do something and I hope other people will follow. My charity work going forward will be silent, but I just wanted someone else to pick up the flag and maybe rent a house for someone.
He was knighted in the Queen’s Birthday Honors in 2016 for his services to music and charity.
The rocker said it was “an honor to have entertained British audiences since he was 19”, but confirmed the upcoming shows would be the last time he planned to perform his classic songs on tour.
When asked if he still enjoys touring after decades on the road, he told PA: “Love it, but it will be the last time.
“I can’t imagine that I’m going to play in some cities again doing these songs. So at the end of next year, I will stop.
He stressed that he was not retiring but planned to focus on American classics from the Great American Songbook and his upcoming album with Jools Holland of swing music.
The singer admitted it would be hard to move on from his classic hits, but jokingly added, “I don’t want to sing Hot Legs when I’m 84. I always sing it.
Sir Rod and Lancaster are close friends of the new King, with the singer performing for the Royal Family on numerous occasions, including the Platinum Jubilee Concert in June for the late Queen.
The singer said he would be “honoured” to sing for Charles again, potentially at his coronation, but thinks it will be a less lavish affair this time around.
“I think they’re going to do something very simple this time and I think that’s admirable, I think with the way the economy is in Britain, I think he would be a little silly to see lavish spending on a coronation,” he said.
He added that he wanted the King to enjoy his time on the throne, saying: “He’s had a long apprenticeship and I don’t think William should take over just yet.
“I want Charles to take advantage of it. That’s what he lived for, that’s what he trained for and he’s going to be very good at it.
Next month Sir Rod will launch a series of UK arena dates, playing in cities including Nottingham, Aberdeen, Glasgow, Belfast, London, Birmingham and Manchester.