where does cat stevens currently live

While the younger Stevens – who now records under the name Yusuf – chose the first option, deeply questioning his fame and lifestyle before largely withdrawing from the world of pop music, at 71 he is settled: he lives in Dubai, where he continues to record music and coordinate a charitable initiative called Peace …

Then, in 2006, “An Other Cup,” his first album of pop music in 28 years, was released. He had renounced his adopted Islamic last name and was going by just Yusuf. Something had shifted, certainly. After all these years, it was so nice to hear that voice and that guitar once more. Nevertheless, “Midday (Avoid City After Dark),” the album’s opening track, established a mood of uneasiness, suspicion, and condemnation that never really subsided. The majority of the album felt grounded, though there were a few interesting (if forced-sounding) reworkings of his “Foreigner Suite” pieces, such as “Heaven/Where True Love Goes,” and a revisit to a much earlier composition (“I Think I See the Light”). The joie de vivre that pervaded his best work was absent from every place. The follow-up, “Roadsinger,” in 2009, sounded fresher, but still unconvincing. There appeared to be mistrust and suspicion on both sides, so which was it—was he wary of us or we of him?

When I arrived, I discovered that the singer was now identifying himself as Yusuf/Cat Stevens, an awkward but revealing moniker. Was he finally admitting who he really was? This was one of many surprises this evening would bring.

I paid attention to all of this because, unhip as this may be to admit, the music of Cat Stevens once meant a great deal to me. I did not grow up listening to it, per se (I was too young), but his music became the soundtrack to my adolescence when I watched “Harold and Maude” for the first time, and my world changed. I went out and got a guitar. I listened to Cat Stevens obsessively, played and sang his songs with friends, hunted down all of his albums. While it was clear that he’d lost his way artistically on later albums like “Numbers” and “Izitso,” the earlier, classic albums that he’s still known for (“Mona Bone Jakon” through “Foreigner”) were full of treasures that could be mined again and again. Indelible melodies, beautiful production, emotionally committed performances, and, most of all, a gentle wisdom, a repudiation of the status quo, a sense that we were not alone. Here was someone who was trying to make sense of life, too; he may not have had the answers, but he was looking for them, and we were encouraged to join him. Here was a friend.

Naturally, I soon discovered that Cat Stevens was no longer Knowing that there would be no more Cat Stevens albums or concerts made my teenage soul sad. The man who had turned into my hero had left the music industry a long time ago.

Then came two pop hits from the early years of his career, “Here Comes My Baby” and “The First Cut Is the Deepest,” both secular love songs that came as startling shocks. The crowd seemed to gasp in unison before the singer made his way to a piano at the side of the stage and, unaccompanied, launched into the opening strains of “Sitting.” “Thinking ‘Bout You,” a more recent song of love and devotion, followed, but it was buoyed by an energy and commitment that sustained the freshness of what had come before, and served as a bridge to the first real shock of the night. Here he was again. Cat Stevens. Asking questions, looking for answers, and announcing with pride that he was headed in the right direction but did not yet have them Our companion, our friend, had returned.

Musical career (1966–1978) edit

Georgiou started singing his songs in pubs and coffee shops in London. He attempted to start a band at first but soon realized he liked to perform alone. [26] Believing that his given name might be hard to recall, he went by his stage name Cat Stevens. This decision was made in part because of a girlfriend’s comment that he had cat-eye eyes, but mostly because he couldn’t imagine someone asking for that Steven Demetre Georgiou album at the record store. And they were animal lovers in England and, I’m sure, America. “[37].

Stevens recorded and performed with a diverse array of musicians over the course of the following two years, including Jimi Hendrix and Engelbert Humperdinck. Having released multiple singles that reached the British pop music charts, he was regarded as a young, promising star. [40] Wonderful Radio London, a pirate radio station that played his records and won him listeners, was partly responsible for his success. He was among a number of recording artists who profited from the station’s last-hour broadcasts in August 1967, sending out messages in support of its closure. [41][42].

In 1969, Stevens became ill with tuberculosis[30][46], and upon being admitted to the King Edward VII Hospital in Midhurst, West Sussex, he was near death. [46] He underwent a year of convalescence after months of hospital recovery. Stevens started to have doubts about various aspects of his life and spirituality during this time. “To go from the show business environment and find yourself in a hospital receiving daily injections while people around you are dying, it certainly changes your perspective,” he subsequently said. I got down to thinking about myself. It seemed almost as if I had my eyes shut. “[38].

He started practicing yoga, meditation, and metaphysics. He also read up on other religions and adopted a vegetarian diet. [37] He wrote up to 40 songs as part of his spiritual awakening and questioning, and as a result of his severe illness and protracted convalescence [47]. Many of these songs would later be included on his albums. [13].

Stevens’ second album’s failure was a reflection of his differing musical preferences. Instead of the folk rock sound Stevens was trying to create, he felt a growing resentment of producer Mike Hurst’s attempts to recreate the style of his debut album, with heavy-handed orchestration and over-production[35]. He acknowledges that he intentionally destroyed his own contract with Hurst by threatening legal action and making absurdly expensive orchestral demands. This allowed him to get out from under his contract with Deram Records, a Decca Records subsidiary. [38].

Following his discharge from the hospital, Stevens recorded some of his newly composed songs on his tape recorder and performed his evolving sound for a number of new record executives while recovering at home. He engaged the services of Barry Krost, an agent, who set up an audition with Island Records’ Chris Blackwell. “A chance to record [his songs] whenever and with whomever he liked and, more importantly to Cat, however he liked,” was what Blackwell offered him. [47] At Krost’s suggestion, Stevens hired Paul Samwell-Smith, the former Yardbirds bassist, as his new producer. [48].

Samwell-Smith paired Stevens with session musician Alun Davies, a guitarist at the time. Davies was the more seasoned veteran of two albums that had already started delving into the newly popularized folk rock and skiffle genres. Davies was also seen as Stevens’ ideal partner because of his “fingerwork” on the guitar, harmonies, and backing vocals. When they first got together in 1970[49], it was only to record Mona Bone Jakon, but they quickly became friends. Similar to Stevens, Davies was a stickler for detail and attended all sound checks to ensure that the sound system and all the equipment were ready for every performance. [51].

“Lady DArbanville,” which Stevens wrote about his young American girlfriend Patti DArbanville, was the first song to be released by Mona Bone Jakon. Unlike most pop music played on the radio, the record had a madrigal sound, featuring bass and djembes in addition to Stevens and Davies’ guitars. It was the first of his hits to receive significant airplay in the US and peaked at number eight in the UK [39]. [38] He received a gold record in 1971 for the single, which sold over a million copies. [52] “Maybe Youre Right” and “Just Another Night” were among the other songs composed for DArbanville. [53] Other songs included were “Pop Star,” a song about his time as a teenage celebrity, and “Katmandu,” which featured Genesis frontman Peter Gabriel playing the flute. The solo singer-songwriter album format, which was gaining popularity among other artists, was first popularized by Mona Bone Jakon. Its popularity was compared to Elton John’s Tumbleweed Connection by Rolling Stone, which noted that it was played “across the board, across radio formats.” [54] Cat Stevens from 1971, as depicted on his album cover

Tea for the Tillerman, Stevens’s worldwide breakthrough album that went on to become a Top 10 Billboard hit, was inspired by Mona Bone Jakon. It became a gold record in the US and the UK after selling over 500,000 copies in just six months after its release. Stevens’s music from that point on remained a blend of his new folk rock style and easily understood lyrics that addressed commonplace issues and circumstances along with the emergence of spiritual inquiries about life. The album includes the Top 20 hit “Wild World,” which served as DArbanville’s farewell song after they moved on. According to some accounts, “Wild World” was the song that gave Tea for the Tillerman enough momentum to be played on FM radio. Chris Blackwell, the head of Island Records, was cited as saying it’s “the best album weve ever released.” [35] Additional album tracks are “Hard-Headed Woman” and “Father and Son,” which are performed by Stevens in baritone and tenor, respectively, and depict the conflict between fathers and sons who disagree with each other’s life decisions. This album sold 3 million copies in the US at the time it was certified as a Multi-Platinum record by the RIAA in 2001. [55] It is ranked at No. 206 on the “Rolling Stones 500 Greatest Albums of All Time” list from 2003. [56].

Stevens observed the impact of his breakup with DArbanville on his writing afterward, stating, “Everything I wrote while I was away was in a transitional period and reflects that.” Like Patti. I had been with her for two years when we broke up a year ago. What I write about Patti and my family. when I sing the songs now, I learn strange things. I learn the meanings of my songs late . “[56] Stevens performing in.

After creating a distinctive sound, Stevens experienced a run of achievements in the years that followed. Three weeks after its US release, 1971’s Teaser and the Firecat album went on to become a gold record and peaked at number two. Among the hits it produced were “Peace Train,” “Morning Has Broken,” and “Moonshadow.” In 2001, the RIAA certified the album as a Multi-Platinum record, citing sales of over 3 million copies in the US up to that point. Regarding Teaser and the Firecat, Stevens stated in an interview with a Boston radio station:

During a seven-month period in 1971 and 1972, Stevens and well-known singer Carly Simon were together under Samwell-Smith’s production. They wrote songs about and for each other at that time. About Stevens, Simon composed and recorded at least two Top 50 hits, “Legend in Your Own Time” and “Anticipation.” In return, he wrote her the song “Sweet Scarlet,” which he wrote after they fell in love. [58][59][60].

Stevens recorded “But I Might Die Tonight” in July 1970 for the Jerzy Skolimowski film Deep End. [61] He was displeased when director Hal Ashby chose to utilize the original demos for Harold and Maude (1971) rather than letting Stevens complete them. Stevens had contributed two songs to the movie. [62] Seven additional Stevens songs were included in the movie; however, the soundtrack album wasn’t released until 2007—possibly due to the dispute. [63].

Later releases in the 1970s performed admirably both in continuous sales and on the charts, though they fell short of Stevens’s 1970–1973 success. As a tax exile from the United Kingdom, Stevens relocated to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 1973. He subsequently gave the money to UNESCO. [67] He produced the album Foreigner during that period, which differed from the songs that had elevated him to the pinnacle of his career. It was different in a few ways: Stevens wrote the entire record; he disbanded his band; and he produced it alone, without the help of Samwell-Smith, who had been instrumental in launching his career, except for some guitar work on the title track and “100 I Dream” [68].

When Stevens was in Australia in June 1974, he received a plaque commemorating the selling of forty gold records—the most ever given to an Australian artist. [69].

Buddha and the Chocolate Box and Numbers, Stevens’ albums, were released in 1974 and 1975, respectively.

With the extensive use of synthesisers in his Izitso album, released in April 1977,[70] he updated his pop rock and folk rock style, giving it a more synthpop style. [71] “Was Dog a Doughnut,” in particular, was a pioneering techno-pop fusion song that used a music sequencer for the first time, serving as a forerunner to the electro music genre of the 1980s. [73] Izitso included his final chart-topping single, “(Remember the Days of the) Old Schoolyard,” a duet with fellow UK singer Elkie Brooks that was an early synthpop hit [71] that made use of a polyphonic synthesiser. [73].

Back to Earth, his last studio album recorded under the name Cat Stevens, was released in late 1978. Additionally, it was Samwell-Smith’s first album since Steven Stevens’s peak single album sales in the early 1970s. He stopped recording, and a number of compilation albums were released both before and after. In an attempt to capitalize on his early success, Decca Records combined Stevens’ first two albums into a single release after he left the label. Later, Stevens’ new labels followed suit, and he also put out compilation albums. The 1975 Greatest Hits compilation album was the most popular of the albums, selling over 4 million copies in the US. Remember Cat Stevens: The Ultimate Collection garnered him his first Platinum Europe Award from the IFPI in May 2003, signifying more than a million sales throughout Europe. [74].

Life as Yusuf Islam (1978–present) edit

After becoming a follower of Islam, Cat Stevens (now known as Yusuf Islam) gave up on his musical career for almost twenty years. His mosque’s imam informed him that it was acceptable for him to carry on as a musician as long as the songs were morally acceptable when he converted to Islam in 1977, but other people were claiming that “it was all prohibited,” so he chose to sidestep the controversy by stopping to perform. [86] According to him, there were “a combination of reasons, really,” and the continued demands of the music industry had turned the industry into “a chore rather than an inspiration.” [86].

During an interview with Larry King Live in 2004, he stated, “I could have sung for a long time. You reach a point where you’ve essentially finished singing. your entire toolkit and you’re ready to tackle life’s work of living You know, I hadn’t had a life until then. Id been searching, been on the road. “[25].

In January 2007, he estimated that he was still making about $1. 5 million annually from his Cat Stevens music,[87] he declared that he would donate his amassed fortune and continued earnings from his music career to charitable and educational endeavors in the London Muslim community and beyond. He started the Islamia Primary School in Brondesbury Park in 1983. It later moved to Salusbury Road in the Queens Park neighborhood of north London[88]. Shortly after, he started a number of Muslim secondary schools. In 1992, he established The Association of Muslim Schools (AMS-UK), a nonprofit organization that brought together all the Muslim schools in the United Kingdom. In addition, he founded and serves as chairman of the Small Kindness charity, which helped thousands of orphans and families in Iraq, Indonesia, and the Balkans as well as famine victims in Africa at first. [90] From 1985 to 1993, he presided over Muslim Aid, a nonprofit organization. [91].

Soon after the United States was attacked on September 11, 2001, he stated:

He sang an a cappella rendition of his song “Peace Train” for the first time in public in over 20 years and denounced the attacks during his videotape appearance on a VH1 pre-show for the October 2001 Concert for New York City. Additionally, he gave some of the box set royalties to the fund for the families of the victims and the remainder to orphans in developing nations. [101] That same year, after numerous Muslims reported facing backlash, partly because of the pain brought on by the events in the US on September 11, he committed time and energy to becoming a member of the Forum Against Islamophobia and Racism, an organization that worked to combat misconceptions and acts against others because of their religious beliefs or their racial identity (or both). [67].

He was denied entry the next day and returned to the United Kingdom by plane. There are “concerns of ties he may have to potential terrorist-related activities,” according to a Homeland Security spokesman. [103] Islam was deported by the Israeli government in 2000 on suspicion of financially supporting Hamas, a Palestinian organization. [104] He refuted these claims. Islam declared, “I have never knowingly given money or support to Hamas” [105]. [106] “I was unaware that there was a group like that when I was allegedly the one who did it.” Some people give a political interpretation to charity. The suffering that people were going through in the Holy Land astounded us. “[105].

Islam thought that the reason he was put on a “watch list” might have just been a typographical error, mistaking him for another man who spelled his name differently. “I remain bewildered by the decision of the US authorities to refuse me entry into the United States,” he said in his request to have his name removed on October 1, 2004. [109] He claimed that the man on the list was identified as “Youssef Islam,” proving that Islam was not the person thought to be supporting terrorism. [25] Arabic names can readily be romanized to produce a variety of spellings; Yusuf, for example, can have up to twelve different spellings when transliterated.

Islam was incident-free admitted to the US two years later in December 2006 for a series of radio concert appearances and interviews to support his latest album. [110] At the time, he described the incident as follows: “Although no explanation was ever provided, repeatedly being asked to spell my name led me to believe it was a fairly straightforward identity error. Rumours which circulated after made me imagine otherwise. “[111].

“Boots and Sand,” a song written by Islam about his 2004 expulsion from the US, was recorded in 2008 and featured Terry Sylvester, Paul McCartney, and Dolly Parton. [112].

The Sunday Times and The Sun published articles in October 2004 endorsing Yusuf’s deportation from the United States on the grounds that he had aided in terrorism. The newspapers, which both released statements of apology stating that he had never supported terrorism and mentioning that he had recently been awarded a Man of Peace award by the World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates, paid him an out-of-court financial settlement after he filed a libel lawsuit. Though there was a “agreed settlement,” The Sunday Times managing editor Richard Caseby claimed that they “always denied liability” and “disagreed with Cat Stevens lawyers interpretation,” adopting a “pragmatic view” of the case. [113].

In response, Yusuf expressed his happiness with the settlement, saying it “helps vindicate my character and good name.” These days, it seems to be the easiest thing in the world to level false charges against Muslims. In my case, this has a direct negative influence on my humanitarian work and harms my reputation as an artist. The damage done is frequently irreversible,” he continued, adding that he planned to use the money the court awarded him to support the orphans affected by the 2004 tsunami and earthquake in the Indian Ocean. [113] He wrote an article titled “A Cat in a Wild World” in the newspaper about the experience. [114].

Following the publication of an article by the World Entertainment News Network claiming that the singer would not speak to women who were not wearing headscarves, Islam was awarded significant, undisclosed damages on July 18, 2008. [115] Following Islam’s visit to Berlin in March 2007 to accept the Echo music award for “life achievements as musician and ambassador between cultures,” the accusations were first reported in the German newspaper BZ. [116] After the World Entertainment News Network permitted an article to be published on Contactmusic, he was once more granted damages. com, claiming he would only converse with his wife and not with other women who were not covered up. “He was made out to be so sexist and bigoted that he refused to speak to or even acknowledge any women who were not wearing a veil,” according to his attorney. [115][117] The news organization apologized and said that Islam has never had any issues working with women and that he has never needed an intermediary to act on his behalf in the workplace. [116] He established his Small Kindness Charity with the proceeds of this lawsuit. [115].

On his website, he discussed the false allegation, saying,


What religion is Cat Stevens now?

Stevens converted to Islam in December 1977, and adopted the name Yusuf Islam the following year. In 1979, he auctioned his guitars for charity, and left his musical career to devote himself to educational and philanthropic causes in the Muslim community.

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