Rod Stewart Turns Down Huge Big Offer To Play In Saudi Arabia
via Rod Stewart/YouTube
Rod Stewart declined a lucrative invitation to perform in Saudi Arabia due to the nation’s poor record on human rights.
A sizable quantity of money was given to the 78-year-old rock icon in exchange for bringing his act to the Middle East, but he turned it down because of the tyranny of “women, the LGBTQ community, and the press” in the kingdom.
Speaking to the Daily Mirror newspaper, Stewart expressed his gratitude for having the choice not to perform in Saudi Arabia and noted the limited choices faced by many citizens there, particularly women, the LGBTQ community, and the press. He stated:
“I’d like my choice not to go… to shine a light on the injustices there and ignite positive change.”
Stewart had previously turned down a more than $1 million offer to perform in Qatar, even though the Saudi offer was substantially higher. He remained unwavering in his commitment to his principles over financial gain.
According to an inside source:
“Rod was determined to do the right thing and couldn’t accept the offer, no matter how much money was on the table. Some things are more important.”
It’s important to note that in Saudi Arabia, same-sex relationships are illegal and can carry the death penalty as punishment.
Rod Stewart Using His Platform
Rod Stewart, known for his hit song “Maggie May,” has previously spoken about his desire to use his 2016 knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II to make a positive impact in the world and promote the charitable causes he supports. He then explained:
“I usually keep all my charitable efforts nice and quiet and just do it. But I thought, ‘I am a knight, I have been given this knighthood because of the things I’ve achieved in my life and the charity work I’ve done over the years.’ But that was the past. I want to be seen to be doing something now. I am a knight, I should be using my power to do something for people. I am sure that if there are people out there who see what I am doing, they will pick up some slack too.”
In 2022, Stewart, who is married to Lady Penny Lancaster Stewart, generously rented a house in Berkshire for a family of seven Ukrainians who had fled the war with Russia, covering all their household expenses. Additionally, he provided employment to two other refugees at his Essex residence, hiring them as a gardener and a housekeeper.