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Long considered a universal music star, Rod Stewart is now “universal” in another way. The British singer announced this week that he’s signed a long-term contract with Universal Music Group.

First to hit the shelves as part of the multi-year deal will be Stewart’s very first Christmas album. Teaming up with UMG chairman and famed producer David Foster, Rod will offer a holiday mix of both solo tracks and “star-studded” duets for release this fall.

On the topic of Stewart’s entry into the UMG stable, Chairman and CEO Lucian Grange pointed to his long relationship with the singer and his manager, Arnold Stiefel.

“I’ve known Rod and Arnold for many years and have been wanting to work with them for some time,” said Grainge. “Rod possesses one of pop music’s most inventive and memorable voices; and we’re delighted to be part of the next great chapter in his already storied career.”

Stewart expressed similar confidence in the arrangement noting that “partnering with my fellow CBE, Lucian, and his cracking, top-notch company, we have the best team in the business.”

Next month, Stewart will reunite with Stevie Nicks to reprise their Heart & Soul tour. The tour kicks off July 20 in Cleveland and wraps August 9 in Houston. Stewart will return to his “Hits” Las Vegas residency at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace this September.

– Michael Verity, CBS Local


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