Rod Stewart defends support for Ukraine after booing at Germany gig

By Charlotte McLaughlin, PA Senior Entertainment Reporter

Sir Rod Stewart has launched a passionate defence of his support for Ukraine after he was booed at a gig in Germany while showing an image of the Ukraine flag and the country’s president Volodymyr Zelenskiy.

The London-born singer, 79, has been outspoken in his support for war-torn country and supported a family of seven refugees fleeing Russia’s invasion by helping them with lodging and bills.

Stewart has previously used the 1991 hit Rhythm Of My Heart, which he has described as a war song, throughout his tours as a dedication to Ukraine.

Platinum Jubilee
Sir Rod Stewart has often paid tribute to Ukraine during his shows (Gareth Fuller/PA) Photo by Gareth Fuller

Before performing the track at Leipzig’s Quarterback Immobilien Arena on Friday, he displayed the flag of Ukraine on a projector behind him.

The stage then displayed an image of Mr Zelenskiy on a big screen, while loud boos, shouts and whistles could be heard in videos posted on social media.

Stewart told the PA news agency: “I have supported the Ukrainian people throughout this war.

“From arranging for members of my family to take supplies to the country, to renting a house in the UK for a Ukrainian family, as well as employing two Ukrainians as part of my touring crew.

“So yes, I do support Zelensky and the people of Ukraine, and I will continue to do so.

“Putin must be stopped. I’m having the time of my life playing for German audiences, sharing some special memories, and I’m looking forward to playing my remaining dates here.”

Stewart previously organised with his family to hire lorries filled with supplies and had them driven to the border of Ukraine, before using the same vehicles to transport a group of refugees to safety in Berlin.

Stewart is set to return to Germany for shows at Hamburg’s Barclays Arena on Thursday, Cologne’s Lanxess Arena on June 25th, and Munich’s Olympiahalle on June 28th.