Rod Stewart’s heartbreaking split from Penny Lancaster inspired his saddest song

Rod Stewart's agonising split from Penny Lancaster inspired his saddest song.

The pair have been together for over 20 years but it has been revealed they once spilt up for two weeks.

Several years ago the singer was left heartbroken after being walked out on by the mother of his two children.

The 77-year-old was left gazing at a photo of his beloved partner before singing about the ordeal on his album, Time.

Rod explained: "I cover Tom Waits' Picture In A Frame.

"Penny and I broke up for two weeks and the song is about that time. I asked her for a photo of herself in a frame so that I could see her when I went to bed and when I woke up."

The Sailing star added that he had "taken a lot of risks" when it came to romance – but that he learnt women like to hear the truth, and they hate smoking and gambling.

He continued: "My relationship rule is, ‘Don’t argue after a glass of wine – leave debating until the morning.'

"I have always loved women, won some, lost some, but it’s not about the magic touch, it’s about being a better person and a good listener.

"I met Penny in my 50s and if I had not learnt by that point in my life I was never going to."

The happy couple first met in the late 1990s when the singer hired the now 50-year-old as his tour photographer.

Rod who has been married three times has eight children with five different mothers.

He was married to Alana Stewart first from 1979-1984, and the couple share two children – daughter Kimberly, 42, and son Sean, 41.

His second wife was model Rachel Hunter from 1990-2006, with whom he shares daughter Renee, 29, and son Liam, 27.

Rod shares 34-year-old daughter Ruby with his ex-girlfriend Kelly Emberg, and Sarah, 58, with another ex-partner, Susanna Boffey.

Penny and the singer have two sons, Alastair, 16, and Aiden, 10.

Speaking about being a father, he told PEOPLE: "I have to be several different fathers because of the different age groups of my kids.

"You really have to treat all of them as individuals with individual problems.

"For instance, my 15-year-old is dating girls, so I had to give him a sex lesson. I just told him what he should and shouldn't do, but he's on top of it.

"He was like, 'Dad, I've got the internet. I know everything.'"

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