Cat Stevens (Yusuf Islam) Biography

Read this biography to learn about the life, career, and humanitarian work of Yusuf Islam, also known as the 1970s British pop singer Cat Stevens.
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Singer / Humanitarian

Born: 21 July 1948
Birthplace: London, England
Best known as: 1970s pop singer Cat Stevens

Name at birth: Stephen Demetre Georgiou

Yusuf Islam recorded pop songs under the name Cat Stevens between 1966 and 1978, including the 1971 hits "Morning Has Broken" and "Peace Train." After attending art school, he recorded a single as Cat Stevens in 1966, and followed in 1967 with an album, Matthew & Son. He quickly gained a reputation as a talented songwriter and had his first hits in the United Kingdom. His popularity spread to the United States and he had a string of hits, including "Wild World" (1970), "Moonshadow" (1971) and "Oh Very Young" (1974). His albums became top sellers, sometimes even without the benefit of a hit single. They include Tea for the Tillerman (1970), Catch Bull at Four (1972) and Buddha and the Chocolate Box (1974). He stopped recording and performing after converting to Islam in 1978, changed his name to Yusuf Islam and devoted his time to raising a family and being active in Britain's Islamic community. As Yusuf Islam he has made several recordings, mostly educational and pertaining to Islam. In 2004 he released Majikat, a DVD of his 1976 multimedia concert tour, and in 2006 he released an album of new material, An Other Cup.

Extra credit: In 2003 he re-recorded "Peace Train" for a charity to benefit children in Iraq... In 2004 he made headlines when he was denied entry into the United States on unexplained national security grounds.

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Enrichment Activities

  • Refer to the Glossary of Islam to find definitions and descriptions of the important places, figures, branches, and traditions relating to the religion of Islam.
  • Read about Ramadan, the ninth month on the Islamic Calendar.
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