After spending the last year as a free agent, Rod Stewart has found a new home with Universal Music Group.
The legendary singer signed with Verve Music Group (a subsidiarity of Universal) for a long-term, multi-album deal, Stewart’s longtime manager Arnold Stiefel announced on Wednesday.
News of Stewart switching record labels comes as quite a surprise, as Stewart spent his first 30-odd years on Warner Brothers and the last 10 on J Records. Stewart, who hasn’t put out a new album of original material since 2001, has instead in the last decade released six albums of tunes from the “American Songbook” – all of which consist of him doing covers of songs by other artists. Stewart’s first release with Universal’s Verve label will be his first ever Christmas album. “Stewart’s warm, expressive and distinctively raspy voice is proving a perfect fit for the holiday classics,” reads a statement by the label, which also notes that the album, due out this fall, will include a handful of “star-studded” vocal duets.
Before Stewart gets to recording a Christmas album, he and Stevie Nicks have another 13 date leg of their Heart and Soul tour, set to kick off in Cleveland on July 20th at Quicken Loans Arena. As if signing a new record deal, releasing an album and a summer tour wasn’t enough, also out in the fall will be Stewart’s memoir, set to chronicle his experiences in the music biz. The title of this book has not yet been revealed.
Stewart has sold more than 150 million albums worldwide, received 18 Grammy nominations and has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice.
Ryan Bergh – 98.5 WNCX