Rod Stewart speaks out after being booed by German crowd during singer's tribute to Ukraine

Rod Stewart (PA Wire)
Rod Stewart (PA Wire)

Sir Rod Stewart has spoken out after he appeared to be booed in Germany following his gig showing an image of the Ukraine flag and the country's president Volodymyr Zelensky.

The London-born singer, 79, who was playing at Leipzig's Quarterback Immobilien Arena on Friday, has been outspoken in his support for Ukraine and supported a family of seven refugees fleeing Russia's invasion by helping them with lodging and bills.

Sir Rod 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.

Video clips posted on social media appeared to show the star displaying the flag of Ukraine on a projector behind him before performing the track.

The stage then displayed an image of Mr Zelensky on a big screen, while loud boos, shouts and whistles could be heard.

Sir Rod told PA: “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.”

Sir Rod 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.

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

Sir Rod has previously performed the same pro-Ukrainian solidarity gesture at a number of other shows.

He has spoken openly about his support for the country, telling media: "When the war started, in this household we were shocked beyond shock.”

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

The European Union plans amid the war in Ukraine to put sanctions on Russia's natural gas sector, which has been controversial in Germany, with reports saying it is blocking the move.

However, Chancellor Olaf Scholz has claimed recently that this is not the case.

The Standard has contacted a representative of Sir Rod for comment.