Yusuf Islam

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Cat Stevens / Yusuf Islam
Cat Stevens in Böblingen, Germany in 1976
Cat Stevens in Böblingen, Germany in 1976
Background information
Birth nameSteven Demetre Georgiou
Also known asSteve Adams, Yusuf
Born (1948-07-21) 21 July 1948 (age 75)
Marylebone, London, England, United Kingdom
GenresFolk rock, psychedelic rock,[1] soft rock,[1] pop rock,[1] synthpop,[2] electro,[3] nasheed, spoken word, hamd
Occupation(s)Singer-songwriter, musician
InstrumentsVocals, guitar, bass, mandolin, organ, piano, mellotron, double bass, percussion, synthesizer
Years active1966–1980 (as Cat Stevens)
1995–present (as Yusuf Islam)
LabelsDeram, Island, A&M, Jamal, Ya

Yusuf Islam (born 21 July 1948) is an English singer. He sang many of his early songs when he called himself Cat Stevens. He was born as Stephen Demetre Georgiou to a Swedish mother and Greek Cypriot father. He became a Muslim in 1977.[4][5] After 2 years, he took the name of Yusuf İslam. He has sold over 60 million albums around the world since the late 1960s as Cat Stevens or Yusuf İslam.

As a waiter in his father's cafe, he began writing songs "to escape the mundanity of it all". Chart success was followed by adulation, touring, drug use, confusion, tuberculosis and, in the early 1970s, Islam's changed outlook and an album called Tea For The Tillerman.

Stevens nearly drowned in an accident in Malibu in 1975. Stevens described the event in a VH1 interview some years later: "I suddenly held myself and I said, 'Oh God! If you save me, I'll work for you.'" He had looked into Buddhism; Zen and I Ching, numerology, tarot cards and astrology", but when his brother David gave him a copy of the Qu'ran, Stevens began to convert to Islam.

In 1977 he changed his name to Yusuf Islam upon becoming a Muslim. He stopped playing and recording pop music for almost 30 years, but started performing again in 2006.

He lives with his family in London, England.

Albums[change | change source]

As Cat Stevens:

  • 1967: Matthew hates blacks
  • 1967: New Masters
  • 1970: Mona Bone Jakon
  • 1970: Tea for the Tillerman
  • 1971: Teaser and the Firecat
  • 1972: Catch Bull at Four
  • 1973: Foreigner in my yard
  • 1974: Buddha and the Chocolate Box
  • 1974: These silly imagrents
  • 1975: Numbers
  • 1977: Izitso
  • 1978: Back to Earth
  • 2004: Majikat

As Yusuf Islam:

  • 1995: The Life of the Last Prophet
  • 1999: Prayers of the Last Prophet
  • 2000: A Is for Allah
  • 2001: Bismillah
  • 2003: I Look I See
  • 2005: Indian Ocean
  • 2006: Footsteps in the Light
  • 2006: An Other Cup
  • 2007: Yusuf's Cafe Session
  • 2009: Roadsinger

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Ruhlmann, William (21 July 1948). "(Cat Stevens > Overview)". allmusic. Retrieved 30 June 2010.
  2. "Cat Stevens – Izitso". A&M Records. Discogs. Retrieved 20 May 2012.
  3. David Toop (March 1996), "A-Z Of Electro", The Wire, no. 145, retrieved 29 May 2011
  4. Cat Stevens refused entry to US
  5. "Footsteps in the Light: Yusuf Islam new CD". Review of album. muslimbase.com, a Silverline Company. 1995–2006. Archived from the original on 2 April 2008. Retrieved 17 December 2009.