Cat Stevens was a singer and songwriter known as the “King of Peaceful, Soft Folk.” His songs were often about love and peace. He is considered part of both the folk revival movement in England during the mid-1960s, and also as an antecedent to British rock music.
Cat Stevens is a singer-songwriter who enjoyed international fame during the 1960s and 1970s. His songs were often about love, peace, and spirituality. He released his debut album in 1967 titled “Matthew & Son” which was followed by “Tea for the Tillerman” in 1968. In 1971 he released his most successful album titled “Tea for the Tillerman”. Read more in detail here: cat stevens wife.
Cat Stevens put aside the pop-oriented style of his early days and became one of the most renowned folk-rock singer/songwriters of the period after a successful run in the British charts in the late 1960s. It was all due to albums like Tea for the Tillerman from 1970 and Teaser and the Firecat from 1971. Songs like “Wild World,” “Father and Son,” and “Peace Train” became anthems for a generation seeking solace from the tumultuous 1960s thanks to his earthy voice, contemplative lyrics, and spiritual themes. Stevens started to chafe at the consequences of his fame when his popularity peaked in the early 1970s, and following a near-death experience in 1976, he began a religious conversion to Islam. By 1978, he had changed his name to Yusuf Islam and left the music industry. He dedicated himself to humanitarian assistance, philanthropic organizations, and educational endeavors throughout the following few decades, remaining focused on his family. In the 1990s, he resurfaced with a series of Muslim children’s CDs, and in 2006, he returned to Western pop with the album An Other Cup, which he published under the name Yusuf. He struck a balance between his religion and respecting the work he’d done as Cat Stevens while being a devoted Muslim. Continued charity work, a return to touring, and the production of more pop-oriented Yusuf albums like 2014’s bluesy Tell ‘Em I’m Gone and 2017’s Grammy-nominated The Laughing Apple characterized the decade that followed.
Stevens was born Steven Demetre Georgiou to a Swedish mother and a Greek father who owned a restaurant in London. While attending Hammersmith College in his teens, he got interested in folk music and rock & roll, and in 1965 he started playing under the name Steve Adams. Mike Hurst, a former member of the Springfields who had gone on to become a record producer, heard him and invited him into a studio to record his song “I Love My Dog.” Decca Records signed him and assigned him to its newly created Deram subsidiary after hearing his demo. He’d started going by the moniker Cat Stevens at this point, partly because a lover had told him he had cat-like eyes. In October 1966, “I Love My Dog” charted in the United Kingdom, reaching in the Top 40. “Matthew & Son,” Stevens’ next song, debuted in January 1967 and came close to reaching number one (in America, it grazed the bottom of the charts). Stevens’ status as a songwriter was further boosted by the success of his song “Here Comes My Baby,” which was covered by the Tremeloes and charted in the United Kingdom in February, reaching the Top Five. (It reached barely outside the Top Ten in the United States.)
Stevens’ third song, “I’m Gonna Get Me a Gun,” debuted in the UK Top Ten in March, and was preceded by his first album, Matthew & Son, which also charted in the Top Ten. With Stevens’ song “The First Cut Is the Deepest,” P.P. Arnold entered the British charts in May, reaching in the Top 20. (With his reprise of the song ten years later, Rod Stewart topped the UK charts and reached the Top 20 in the United States.) In 2003, Sheryl Crow resurrected it for a Top 20 success in the United States.) In August, Stevens’ fourth song, “A Bad Night,” reached the Top 20 on the Billboard Hot 100. Given his prior popularity, this was a letdown, and his subsequent albums followed suit: “Kitty,” his fifth single, barely charted in December, and New Masters, his second album, failed to chart at all, in part owing to a lack of label backing. To make things worse, Stevens developed TB in February 1968 and was hospitalized for three months before recovering for the rest of the year. His planned comeback song, “Where Are You,” was released in July 1969 but failed to create an impression, and he eventually severed ties with Deram.
Stevens started composing more personal, introspective songs after being disillusioned by his experience in the music industry and experiencing a spiritual revelation during his recuperation. In April 1970, he signed a new deal with Island Records and released Mona Bone Jakon, his third album. The song “Lady D’Arbanville,” taken from the album, was released in June 1970 and became his third Top Ten success in the United Kingdom, prompting Mona Bone Jakon to chart moderately in July. Jimmy Cliff’s tune “Wild World” reached the Top Ten in the British charts in August, demonstrating Stevens’ ability as a composer for others. With a backlog of material, Stevens released a second Island album, Tea for the Tillerman, in November, which charted in the Top 20 in the United Kingdom. Mona Bone Jakon had not charted in America, where his Island records were leased to A&M Records, but Tea for the Tillerman did in February 1971, followed by the single release of his own version of “Wild World,” which featured on the album and reached in the Top 20. Stevens became a big celebrity in the United States as a result of this. Tea for the Tillerman charted and was declared gold; Mona Bone Jakon was eventually certified gold in 1976; and Deram released Matthew & Son and New Masters as a two-LP set, which charted as well. Stevens, along with James Taylor, Carole King, and others, was regarded as one of the most significant players in the popular folk-rock singer/songwriter movement of the time.
Stevens released a new song, “Moonshadow,” in June 1971, which charted in the Top 40 in the United States and the United Kingdom. In September, Stevens released “Peace Train,” which charted in the pop Top Five and reached number one in the easy listening charts in the United States, just ahead of his fifth album, Teaser and the Firecat. The album went gold almost immediately in the United States and reached the Top Five in the United Kingdom. It included “Morning Has Broken,” a reworking of a hymn that became Stevens’ second consecutive easy listening number one and entered the pop Top Ten on both sides of the Atlantic, in addition to “Moonshadow” and “Peace Train.” Meanwhile, Deram released Very Young and Early Songs, a compilation of juvenilia that charted in the US Top 100 in early 1972, as did a delayed American version of the song “Where Are You?”
Stevens provided new and old songs to Harold and Maude, a dark comedy that became a cult hit following its debut in 1972, despite the absence of a soundtrack CD. (In 1984, he published Footsteps in the Dark: Greatest Hits, Vol. 2 with previously unheard songs from the film.) He also went on tour and worked on Catch Bull at Four, his sixth album. The LP, released in October 1972, was Stevens’ commercial apex: it reached number one in the United States and came close to doing so in the United Kingdom, achieving gold-record status almost immediately. Different singles from the album were released in the two nations, with “Sitting” reaching the Top 20 in the United States and “Can’t Keep It In” reaching the Top 20 in the United Kingdom.
Stevens, once again feeling the pressures of pop fame, relocated to Brazil in early 1973 for financial reasons, donating the money he would have paid in taxes to charity. During his five years in Brazil, he became a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, and he performed less often and was less willing to do interviews. In June 1973, he released a new song, “The Hurt,” which charted in the Top 40 in the United States. In August, he released Foreigner, his seventh album, an ambitious endeavor that included an entire LP side devoted to a musical suite. The album was another huge financial success, reaching within the Top Five in the United States and the United Kingdom and immediately going gold. In November, he gave a 90-minute performance on the American TV program In Concert, which was his biggest appearance of the year.
In March 1974, Stevens released his eighth album, Buddha and the Chocolate Box, which was preceded by the Top Ten song “Oh Very Young.” The album debuted in the Top Five in the United States and the United Kingdom, and went gold shortly after its release. Stevens released an independent summer single in July, a remake of Sam Cooke’s “Another Saturday Night,” which reached the Top Ten in the United States and the Top 20 in the United Kingdom. A&M Records took “Ready” from Buddha and the Chocolate Box and released it as a Top 40 single in November. Stevens’ Greatest Hits LP was published in June 1975, and it was a huge hit, selling over three million copies in the United States alone. A new song on the album, “Two Fine People,” made the American Top 40. By November, Stevens had completed his eighth regular album, Numbers. While it reached the Top 20 in the United States and was ultimately certified gold, it failed to chart in the United Kingdom and did not produce a Top 40 single. Stevens’ eleventh album, Izitso, was released in May 1977 after an 18-month wait. It returned some of his commercial clout, reaching the Top Ten in the United States and being certified gold in less than a month, while also reaching the Top 20 in the United Kingdom, and the single “(Remember the Days of The) Old School Yard” reached the Top 40 in the United States and charted in the United Kingdom.
Stevens became a Muslim on December 23, 1977, and took the name Yusuf Islam. Despite this shift, Cat Stevens released his 11th and last album, Back to Earth, in December 1978, to mixed reviews. Yusuf Islam then declared his departure from the mainstream music industry. He married and had five children, sold his instrument collection, and devoted his time to his family and charitable causes. He was instrumental in the establishment of the Muslim Aid charity, which aids Ethiopian famine victims, as well as a Muslim primary school near London. He didn’t make headlines again for another 10 years, until he made headlines towards the end of the 1980s when he commented on Ayatollah Khomeini’s fatwa against writer Salman Rushdie for publishing The Satanic Verses. Islam subsequently clarified that he was not advocating for Rushdie’s execution, but rather explaining Islamic law in the same manner that a Bible student would “cite the legal penalty of a person who commits blasphemy in the Bible.” Nonetheless, “classic rock” radio stations stopped playing him as a consequence, and he received widespread criticism in the press.
The compilation album The Very Best of Cat Stevens charted in the UK Top Five in 1990. In the years that followed, he gradually resumed his recording career, establishing his own studio and label, Mountain of Light, and released The Life of the Last Prophet, a spoken word album, in 1995. Following two additional albums in this spirit, he released A Is for Allah, an educational children’s CD, in 2000. Meanwhile, his philanthropic activities continued, and he and his wife, Fawziah, established the Small Kindness charity in the late 1990s to help survivors of the Balkan war.
Between the reissues of his complete Cat Stevens catalog in 2000 and his outspoken denunciation of the 9/11 attacks in New York, Islam’s prominence grew, and he chose to re-enter the world of Western music after a few more children’s records. An Other Cup, released in 2006 and attributed solely to Yusuf, was his first pop-oriented album in over 30 years. He started to play more of his older repertoire in addition to making promotional appearances in print, radio, and television in favor of the record. In early 2009, he recorded a cover of George Harrison’s “The Day the World Gets ‘Round” with “fifth Beatle” Klaus Voormann. All of the profits from the song went to a foundation that helps children in Gaza who have been affected by the conflict. Roadsinger, his second pop album, was released later that year. Yusuf toured extensively in the years following the album’s release, and in 2010 he performed at The Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear, a Washington, D.C. event hosted by American satirists Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert; Yusuf sang “Peace Train” as a counterpoint to Ozzy Osbourne’s “Crazy Train,” with both being followed by the O’Jays’ performance of “Love Train.” Moonshadow, a stage musical based on Stevens’ best-known songs, had its world debut in Melbourne, Australia, in 2012. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in April 2014. Tell ‘Em I’m Gone, Yusuf’s third album, was released in October of the same year. Yusuf returned to the early blues and R&B that had inspired him as a young man for the album, which was produced by Rick Rubin and included guitar work by Richard Thompson.
Yusuf’s A Cat’s Attic Tour, which was just his second North American tour since 1978, commemorated the 50th anniversary of his 1967 first song, “I Love My Dog.” The Laughing Apple, released the following year, included the freshly written single “See What Love Did to Me,” as well as re-recorded versions of several of his previous 1967 compositions. It was the first release under Yusuf/Cat Stevens’ old stage name since 1978, and it received a Grammy nomination for Best Folk Album. Yusuf/Cat Stevens revisited the tracks of Tea for the Tillerman on 2020’s Tea for the Tillerman 2, in which he and producer Paul Samwell-Smith re-recorded all 11 songs with fresh arrangements, fifty years after the debut of his worldwide breakthrough album.
The “cat stevens ethnicity” is a question that can be answered with the following information. The artist’s birth name was Steven Georgiou, but he changed it to Cat Stevens in 1964. He was of Greek ancestry on his father’s side and English ancestry on his mother’s side.
- cat stevens – wikipedia
- is cat stevens still alive
- cat stevens family
- where does cat stevens live
- cat stevens wife and children