With his raspy voice and sex appeal, Rod Stewart has rarely been considered controversial. But after an unlikely online row, the pop star has apologized for a video that some saw as emulating an Islamic State beheading.
The singer of "Some Guys Have All the Luck" and "Da Ya Think I'm Sexy?" appeared in a video posted by his wife in which he mockingly pretended to behead a kneeling friend on the beach, evoking for some the grainy but grisly propaganda footage of the extremists.
Confounding matters for some online observers, Stewart was visiting the Middle East and his wife, model Penny Lancaster, had put pictures of herself on Instagram in a veil as she visited a mosque.
The 72-year-old British singer, who was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II, said Friday he had no intention of emulating the Islamic State group and instead was acting out a scene from the fantasy television series "Game of Thrones."
"From re-enacting the Beatles' 'Abbey Road' crossing to spontaneously playing out 'Game Of Thrones,' we were simply larking about pre-show," Stewart said of the since-deleted video.
"Understandably, this has been misinterpreted and I send my deepest apologies to those who have been offended," he said in a statement.
The singer -- whose hits also include "Maggie May," "Forever Young" and a cover of "Downtown Train" -- is touring the United States this summer with Cyndi Lauper, another pop singer best known for her 1980s hits.