Rod Stewart calls Ed Sheeran ‘old ginger bollocks – I don’t know any of his songs’

Rod Stewart has a new album coming out February 23. Swing Fever is a collection of classic big band tunes, much like he celebrated popular standards when he recorded The Great American Songbook. Some people don’t like it and/or get confused when an artist switches genres, but I think it’s a mark of growth and expansion. So I enjoy these offerings from Rod, just as much as I enjoy his rock ‘n’ roll roots. I also enjoy that Rod has a barely functioning filter which often leads to spectacular quotes. Case in point: The Times recently interviewed Rod and asked him what young(ish) artists he thinks will stand the test of time. Rod offered George Ezra. Only instead of saying George Ezra he said ‘whatshisname.’ In trying to identify ‘whatshisname,’ the interview suggested Ed Sheeran, to which Rod emphatically said no, not Ed Sheeran. Only instead of Ed Sheeran he said ‘old ginger bollocks.’ More on Sir Rod, whatshisname, and old ginger bollocks:

With a six-decade career, one Grammy Award and 14 other Grammy nominations, Rod Stewart knows a thing or two about music. It makes sense, then, that people would take note when he gives his opinion about current artists. And recently, Stewart sent a harsh message about Ed Sheeran’s discography that no one saw coming.

The “Do Ya Think I’m Sexy” singer, 72, sat down with The Times for a new interview, during which he was asked what current musicians he believes are creating songs that will stand the test of time.

“I like whatshisname,” Stewart replied as he struggled to remember the artist’s name. “Oh [F-bomb]ing great, Rod. Well done. He’s British, really talented and his songs will be around.”

When the Times reporter asked if he meant Sheeran, Stewart made a surprising confession. “No, not Ed, I don’t know any of his songs, old ginger bollocks. Jesus,” he responded.

Ultimately, Stewart sang a part of the artist’s song, which the reporter pinpointed as “Shotgun” by George Ezra. “I think he writes really tremendous songs,” he shared. “He’ll be around for quite a while.”

Not that Grammy Awards are the end-all-be-all determining factor of an artist’s musical legacy, but for context, Sheeran has won four Grammys and snagged 17 nominations compared to Ezra’s zero nominations. (Although, he did score two Brit Awards nominations, a Teen Choice Award nomination and an MTV VMA nomination, per IMDb.)

[From Parade]

Um, you’re welcome, Ed! Look, I know I’m a child, but this stuff makes my day. There was a new spring in my step upon learning that Rod Stewart calls Ed Sheeran ‘old ginger bollocks.’ That was enough for me, but then I found out that a couple years ago Ed actually said out loud that he thought Americans didn’t make fun of gingers until South Park. In fact, he said the show “f–king ruined my life.” And boom, we have a whole new copper-hued layer to this! Did Rod know that ginger identity was a sore spot for Ed? I doubt it, why would he? He didn’t even recall the name of a singer he likes! If I were Ed, I would totally own the new moniker. He should make his online handles @oldgingerbollocks, or make it his next album title. Or the new name for his English country estate, currently called ‘Sheeranville.’ Oh the possibilities! I say again to Ed: own it! Fashion yourself the Original O.G.B. Let ‘old ginger bollocks’ be your banner!

For the record, I am a lifelong redhead enthusiast and have invested a lot of income into fooling the general public that I am blessed with the trait myself. I’ve even read and can recommend the book Red: A History of the Redhead, a fun and thorough read! I only wish I merited such a nickname. Instead I’m just reminded that I need to get my roots done.


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33 Responses to “Rod Stewart calls Ed Sheeran ‘old ginger bollocks – I don’t know any of his songs’”

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  1. StillDouchesOfCambridge says:

    I had no idea what bollocks means. My chatgpt says it could mean testicles. LOL

    • Rainbow Kitty says:

      That’s what I’m calling them from now on. Thank you.

    • Drea says:

      Literally, it means testicles, yes.

      Colloquially, it’s like saying “oh balls” when something goes wrong.

      • Anne Keane says:

        It also means ‘nonsense’ or ‘rubbish’ as in disagreeing with someone by saying ‘you are talking bollocks’. Saying something is ‘the dog’s bollocks’ however is praise. Weird.

  2. equality says:

    So another old white dude excused for nasty opinions and comments about people. Perhaps he should develop a filter.

  3. Concern Fae says:

    What does Rod think the biggest stars of the 1930s were saying about him back when he was at the top of the charts? LOL.

  4. Lizzie Bennett says:

    Is this a legend having an outrageous over the top rockstar personality or is this just a famous person taking the time to disparage someone who’s younger and currently successful? Idk but I like them both and think they’re both talented.

  5. Sasha says:

    Hahahah. Come on, at least he’s not punching down. I think it’s fine for music A listers to trash each other. Ed can probably stand to be humbled once in a while!

  6. Nikomikaelx says:

    This is just how most brits talk about eachother, its not that deep.

  7. Ameerah M says:

    This made me cackle at my desk just now. I can’t stand Ed Sheeran so I will now refer to him as “Old Ginger Bollocks”. Thank you for your service Rod.

    PS – Rod once walked past me on the street when I was on my way to work. He is tiny. But cool.

    • Rainbow Kitty says:

      What was he wearing? And did he smell nice?

      • Ameerah M says:

        This was a thousand years ago and he was walking arm and arm with his wife Penny Lancaster who is incredibly tall and towered over him. He was wearing a blazer and jeans and sunglasses. He looked like ROD. LOL. I wasn’t close enough to smell him.

  8. Bumblebee says:

    Yeah, as Americans it’s funny. But from what little I know, in Britain, way back, I think there was this belief that red hair was bad, sign of the devil, it skips generations or siblings, so also used as a rumor that mom cheated. All to say, ‘gingers’ were treated very badly, extremely bullied. So for many across the pond it’s a painful insult. Correct if I’m wrong.

    Also, what the heck with older musicians insulting younger successful musicians when they have work to promote? Jealousy is showing. Why not talk about the ones you like and leave out the ugly comments? Definitely NOT supporting any artist who talks down another.

  9. Rainbow Kitty says:

    I feel like I’m in the minority group of “I’m not really into ES.” I only know the songs that are played on Sirius so maybe I’m missing out. Nothing I’ve heard has made me want to listen to a full album.

  10. sevenblue says:

    I don’t really know why people are mean to ES. He does his job, minds his business. Did he do something I don’t know?

    • Ameerah M says:

      Well he loves stealing from Black artists. And then plays the victim in court when they sue him. So there’s that.

      • sevenblue says:

        @Ameerah M, didn’t he win the case? I am not so sure about “stealing” when it comes to music/art. All art is derivative and all artists got influenced from the ones before them. If he bluntly copied another artist’s work, he would lose the case, right? Also, Ed Sheeran has a lot of powerful black artists supporting him. He slept on Jamie Foxx’s couch when he first came to USA. They wouldn’t extend their support to him if he was who you are saying he was, I suppose. I don’t see any black people praising Elvis for example.

      • Ameerah M says:

        @sevenblue – I am Black. And most Black folks don’t F w/Ed Sheeran’s music. Regardless of how famous folks feel about him. And you may not be sure about stealing but a lot of Black folks feel some type of way about Sheeran because of the MULTIPLE times he has been sued for stealing from Black artists. He won the Marvin Gaye suit – and a lot of folks feel he should have lost. Winning a civil suit doesn’t magically make someone innocent of what they were accused of. Or vice versa.
        And you don’t see any non-famous Black folks praising Ed Sheeran either. Him sleeping on Jamie Foxx’s couch doesn’t negate that. As Jamie Foxx is not a litmus test for all Black people.

      • sevenblue says:

        @Ameerah M, I am talking about powerful black artists, who don’t need to support ES, but do. He was nobody while Jamie was helping him. Beyonce did a Grammy show with him. Beyonce is rich and famous, but she is also careful who she is working with. ES is bluntly stealing from black musicians, and still gets to sing with Beyonce? I don’t know, a lot of artists talked about how the winning case “Blurred Lines” is gonna destroy the music industry, because like I said, art isn’t unique, everyone gets some part of what is done before. After that case, everyone is suing everyone because there is now a precedent with the jury case who made up of ordinary people, not music experts.

      • Ameerah M says:

        @sevenblue – And I am talking about regular normal Black folks who buy and listen to music and who dont buy or listen to his. Which I made the very clear distinction of in my original reply. And again – bringing up famous Black people who like him doesn’t change or negate any of what I said. Because again – they are not the litmus test.

      • KT says:

        Ed does not steal from anyone.
        The people suing him were not even artists, they were mega corporations who had bought up artist copyrights and exploit them as a business model.

        To have fallen for this bollocks you must be very ignorant about music composition and not recognise a common musical element for what it is *and* ignorant about how the music industry works today.

  11. Shells_Bells says:

    I love George Ezra’s “Shotgun” It’s very catchy and I have it on multiple playlists, but he’s had nowhere near the success of Ed Sheeran. I saw Ed live once and was blown away but what he did on stage solo (no back up band at all).

  12. lipsticktraces says:

    I’m so old I remember when ROD was a redhead…

  13. J.Ferber says:

    Prince also didn’t like Ed Sheeran, nor did he like Katie Perry, but only as artists he didn’t like them, nothing personal. I never liked red hair until Prince Harry entered my radar. Now I love it.