November 13, 2017
British singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Yusuf Islam has been through many career and life phases. Along the way he has become one of the most influential musicians of our time.
Born Steven Georgiou in London in 1948, he adopted the stage name Cat Stevens for his 1967 debut album Matthew & Son. The album's title track reached #2 in the UK, opening up an international audience for the teenager. His 1970 album Tea for the Tillerman went triple Platinum in the U.S behind classics like ‘Wild World’, ‘Where Do the Children Play?’, and ‘Father & Son’. 1971’s Teaser and the Firecat established Stevens as a megastar, with the songs ‘Morning Has Broken’, ‘Peace Train’ and ‘Moonshadow’ resonating with a generation as anthems of peace and unity.
Stevens formally converted to Islam in December 1977, taking the name Yusuf Islam in 1978. He auctioned all of his guitars for charity and left his musical career in order to devote himself to educational and philanthropic causes in the Muslim community. Following a nearly three decade hiatus, Stevens reëmerged as Yusuf with the 2006 album An Other Cup, which has been followed by three subsequent albums.
The new album from Yusuf is The Laughing Apple.