BBC HomeExplore the BBC
This page has been archived and is no longer updated. Find out more about page archiving.

24 September 2014

BBC Homepage

Local BBC Sites

Neighbouring Sites

Related BBC Sites


Contact Us

Danny Baker

You are in: London > Radio > 94.9 Presenters > Danny Baker > The artist formerly known as Cat Stevens on the Danny Baker Show

Yusuf Islam formerly Cat Stevens

Yusuf Islam formerly Cat Stevens

The artist formerly known as Cat Stevens on the Danny Baker Show

He has sold over 60 million records and at the height of his fame he gave up his pop career to live a life dedicated to Islam, education and charity but Yusuf Islam says he never abandoned music.

Yusuf Islam formerly known as Cat Stevens was Danny Baker's very special guest on Thursday 29th March.

He has sold millions of albums over his career.  Born in London as Stephen Demetre Georgiou, he changed his name to Cat Stevens thinking his Greek surname would hinder his pop career. 

His first hit records came in the late 1960s but in 1968 he became very ill with tuberculosis and this forced him to reconsider his pop star lifestyle.  His recovery from the disease forced him to stop touring and recording for over a year.

During this time Cat Stevens became interested in meditation and read widely about diverse religions. 

In the early 1970s he released his most famous records such as 'Tea for Tillerman' and 'The Teaser and The Firecat' which included hits songs such as 'Wild World', 'Father And Son' and 'Moonshadow' which made him an international star.

In 1975 after a near death experience in Malibu where he nearly drowned Cat Stevens intensified his spiritual search.  After his brother gave him a copy of the Qur'an he moved closer to Islam and in 1978 Cat Stevens converted to Islam taking the name Yusuf Islam the following year. 

Soon after he withdrew from his pop music career to dedicate himself to education and philanthropy.  In 1981 Yusuf Islam founded the Islamia Primary School in Salisbury Road in Kilburn, London. 

He has also worked extensively with international charities and was awarded the 2004 Man for Peace award and the 2007 Mediterranean Prize for Peace.

In recent years he has returned to making music notably recording a version of Father And Son with Ronan Keating for the charity Band Aid (Yusuf Islam actually came out of retirement to play Live Aid in 1985 but never made it on stage as Elton John over ran into his slot) and in 2006 forty years on from his first debut album he released a new record titled An Other Cup.

last updated: 22/06/07

You are in: London > Radio > 94.9 Presenters > Danny Baker > The artist formerly known as Cat Stevens on the Danny Baker Show



About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy