Rod Stewart claims not to know any Ed Sheeran songs, says today's artists only want "fame"

Even though Ed Sheeran has written some of the most inescapable hits of the past 10 years -- and is good pals with his old friend Elton John, to boot — Rod Stewart claims to be unfamiliar with the chart-topping, multi-Platinum artist's work.

In an interview with The Times, Rod is asked whether he believes that "timeless" songs are still being made. "I'm sure they are," he says. "Like 'Maggie May'? Classics that will be played in 50 years?" When the interviewer says yes, that's what he means, Rod declares that he likes "Whatshisname ... he's British, really talented and his songs will be around."

When the interviewer tries to help by suggesting that perhaps Rod means Ed Sheeran, Rod replies, "No, not Ed, I don't know any of his songs." He then refers to Ed as "old ginger bollocks."

Turns out Rod was thinking of George Ezra, a singer/songwriter who in the U.S. is best known for his 2013 song "Budapest." "I think he writes really tremendous songs. He'll be around for quite a while," says Rod.

But Sir Rod questions the motivation of other young artists these days.

"The people I came up with — the Stones, Elton — we all came into it because we loved the music," he says. "Money and fame didn't factor — it was a burning ambition to sing. That may have changed. Now it's more, 'Ooh, let's have a go at music. I don't even have to play well. Maybe I'll get rich.' Fame comes before everything. All kids want is fame."

Rod's new album, Swing Fever, is out February 23. He's set to perform a co-headlining show with Billy Joel in Cleveland on September 13. He tells The Times, "I'm knocked out by that!"

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