Rod Stewart wears colours of the Ukrainian flag and sings anti-war song on the first night of his UK tour – after housing family of refugees who fled Putin’s invasion
Rod Stewart wore the colours of the Ukrainian flag and sang an anti-war song on the first night of his UK tour at the Nottingham Arena on Thursday.
The rocker, 77, belted out his hit Rhythm of My Heart – which he first wrote about the Vietnam war but he says is ‘relatable to any conflict’ – as President Volodymyr Zelensky was projected behind him.
It comes after last month it was revealed he has found a Ukrainian family of seven a home in the UK and has pledged to pay their rent and bills for a year after they fled Putin’s invasion.
Cause: Rod Stewart wore the colours of the Ukrainian flag and sang an anti war song on the first night of his UK tour at the Nottingham Arena on Thursday (stock image)
While on stage the star commanded attention in a bright yellow jacket and blue jacket to replicate the colours of the Ukrainian flag.
As he sang harrowing images of war and conflict were projected on the screen to raise more awareness of the devastating impact of the war on citizens.
He has previously said of the anti-war song: ‘I have a song called Rhythm of My Heart which is actually about the Vietnam War and how pointless it is. But it is relatable to any war. I will dedicate it to the Ukrainians. It’s the least I can do.’
Awareness: The rocker, 77, belted out his hit Rhythm of My Heart which he first wrote about the Vietnam war but he says is ‘relatable to any conflict’ – as President Volodymyr Zelensky was projected behind him (stock image)
He told The Mirror before his show: ‘Words couldn’t describe what we were watching. The bombing of innocent children, the bombing of hospitals and playgrounds.
‘Like everyone else, we were completely beside ourselves. I don’t wish that on anyone. This is evil, pure evil.’
It comes after last month he displayed huge kindness by helping a family of Ukrainian refugees.
Legendary British singer Rod has helped husband and wife Rostyslav and Olena and their children Taras, 17, Kostya, 16, Roman, 13, Mariia, 10, and Dymtro, two, start a new life in the UK by finding them a house in Berkshire, furnishing it and paying the bills.
Support: It comes after last month it was revealed Rod found a Ukrainian family of seven a home in the UK and also sent three trucks of supplies over to the country (stock image)
The singer said he usually keeps his ‘charitable efforts nice and quiet,’ but hoped that by making his actions public, they might inspire others to help too. He also said he felt it was his duty as a ‘knight’ to use his power ‘to do something for people’.
And Stewart has recently met the family, who arrived in England with no money and not speaking a word of English, for the first time, according to The Mirror.
Sir Rod told the newspaper: ‘I walked through the door and they all came running down the stairs, all beautifully dressed in Ukrainian national costume.
‘It was so lovely that they all made that effort. They made me a cup of tea and we had loads of biscuits and chocolates, although the baby kept nicking all of mine. It really was wonderful.’
Busy: This month will see Sir Rod kick off a string of UK arena dates, playing in Nottingham, Aberdeen, Glasgow, Belfast, London, Birmingham and Manchester
The star said he has also provided jobs for two other refugees on his Essex estate and is considering buying another house so he can take in a second family.
He said he has been determined to do something since he and his wife Penny started seeing the horrors unfolding on the news.
Soon after the invasion of Ukraine in February, he funded three trucks filled with supplies for refugees and had them driven to Ukraine, before using the same vehicles to transport 16 people back to safety in Berlin.
He said he had wanted to go on the journey himself but had been advised against it and instead left it to his nephews Warren and Gavin and with six other volunteers.
BBC radio host Chris Evans revealed Sir Rod’s secret funding efforts back in March, when he discovered live on air that the exterminator he had contacted was busy driving to and from the Ukraine border ferrying refugees, funded by the singer.
This month will see Sir Rod kick off a string of UK arena dates, playing in Nottingham, Aberdeen, Glasgow, Belfast, London, Birmingham and Manchester.
He previously told that he plans to address the conflict in Ukraine as part of the tour, dedicating shows to the country and its people.
Charitable: He has previously said he’s been determined to do something since he and his wife Penny started seeing the horrors unfolding on the news about Ukraine
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