“Words cannot describe what we were watching,” Stewart said of the television news showing the devastation in Ukraine.
Sir Rod Stewart rented a house for a family of seven Ukrainian refugees.
The pop-rock veteran and his wife Penny Lancaster rent a house in Berkshire for husband and wife Rostislav and Elena and their children, Taras, 17, Kostya, 16, Roman, 13, Maria, 10, and Dymtro, two, after they fled Ukraine after Russia invaded in February.
He told the Daily Mirror that he and Lancaster will pay both rent and bills for at least a year while the Ukrainian family continues to settle in their new home.
Stewart, who was knighted in 2016 for services to music and charity, said he felt it was his duty to help others after receiving the award six years ago.
“I usually keep all my charitable efforts a secret and just do it. But I thought: “I am a knight, I was given this knighthood for what I have achieved in my life and for the charity work I have done over the years,” he said.
The singer and Lancaster decided to take action after seeing the devastating scenes unfolding on the television news one night.
“Words cannot describe what we watched. Bombing innocent children, bombing hospitals and playgrounds. Like everyone else, we were completely beside ourselves. I don’t wish this on anyone. This is evil, pure evil,” he said.
“I was born right after [World War II], so my family has a lot of memories of it. That’s how devastating it was for me. I didn’t think we’d see a ground war with tanks again.”
Then Rod and his nephew Warren came up with a plan to fill trucks with supplies and deliver them to the border with Ukraine. Although he wanted to drive the truck himself, he was eventually advised not to. Trucks delivered 16 refugees to Berlin.
Ronnie Wood and Rod Stewart from The Faces.
After that, he contacted Rostislav and his family, who were not among the 16 people brought in his car, which led to the fact that he rented a house for them. The Mirror added that he also provided jobs to two other refugees at his estate in Essex.
Rostislav and Elena said in a statement: “Many thanks to Sir Rod Stewart, Warren Cady, his parents and their family for their openness and sincere and big heart. Thanks to their sponsorship and Warren’s hard work, our children are now safe and able to go to school normally.
“We thank the UK government and the people of Bracknell, our children’s teachers and the entire British people for their tireless and invaluable assistance to Ukraine.
“We pray daily for God’s blessings for Sir Rod, Warren, their family and the entire British people.”
Meanwhile, Stewart and Elvis Costello laughed about the apparent quarrel between them.
This happened after it became known that Costello called the platinum jubilee concert of the late Queen Elizabeth II, headlined by Queen, Diana Ross and Elton John in June, “shit” and criticized Stewart.
Rod Stewart and Elvis Costello COURTESY: Getty
“I mean, I know you all love him and he’s one of you and all that, but Rod. What the fuck? I have to say, listen, we all have bad nights in terms of vocals, but damn, sweet fucking Caroline,” he reportedly said, also according to the Mirror.
“Are you fucking kidding me? I mean, I’ve been in show business for 45 years, so I know something. How come no one asked Rod to sing “You Wear It Well?”
The messages prompted Stewart to respond on Twitter: “Dear Elvis @elviscostello, yes, my voice was rough because of Covid. I’m sorry, I thought it was better to show up than to let everyone down, so I’m sorry. By the way, where’s your hair, buddy????? Sir Rod.
Costello also reportedly poked around on the set of Diana Ross, adding: “Listen, Diana Ross had a whole playlist of songs that would suit this occasion: ‘You Keep Me Hanging On’, ‘I’m Living In Shame’. I’m not saying “Love the baby.” You’ve never heard that from me.”
He has now responded to the reports and highlighted a Mirror article describing it as “typical Mirror shit” and that his criticism of Stewart was related to the song choice, not the performance itself.