‘Stardust’ finally shines limelight on Rod Stewart


Rod Stewart found that the third time’s the charm, landing the Grammy for traditional pop vocal album for his “Stardust ... The Great American Songbook: Vol. III,” the latest in his series of hit collections in which the onetime bad-boy British rocker has recast himself as a romantic crooner of pre-rock love songs.

Stewart had been shut out in 13 previous nominations, the last two times by Tony Bennett, who has dominated the traditional pop vocal category in recent years with eight wins since 1992. But Bennett released his latest album after the qualifying period for 2004 Grammy consideration ended, so he was not in the running.

What began as a labor of love with low expectations that Stewart undertook when he was without a major-label contract has turned into a surprise blockbuster: The three “Great American Songbook” volumes have sold more than 6 million copies in the United States.


Stewart, 60, is touring in Australia and did not attend the ceremony, but his manager said a fourth and final album of pop standards is in the works.

“At my age I should be able to sing whatever I want to sing,” Stewart told The Times in 2003. “ ‘Cause I didn’t get played on the radio anymore if I made new stuff, which was always a stumbling block. So this was a great way to go.”