Cat Stevens (born Steven Demetre Georgiou, 21 July 1948 aka Yusuf Islam ), is a British musician of Greek Cypriot and Swedish ancestry. He is a singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, educator & philanthropist.
Cat Stevens, in part because a girlfriend said he had eyes like a cat, but mainly because he said, "I couldn't imagine anyone going to the record store and asking for 'that Steven Demetre Georgiou album'. In 1966, at age 18, he impressed manager/producer Mike Hurst, formerly of British vocal group The Springfields, with his songs and Hurst arranged for him to record a demo and then helped him get a record deal. The first singles were hits. "I Love My Dog" charted at #28, and "Matthew and Son", the title song from his debut album, went to #2. "I'm Gonna Get Me a Gun" reached Britain's Top 10, and the album Matthew and Son itself began charting. The original version of the The Tremeloes cover hit, "Here Comes My Baby", was written and recorded by Stevens.
As Cat Stevens, he has sold over 60 million albums around the world since the late 1960s. His albums Tea for the Tillerman and Teaser and the Firecat were both certified as Triple Platinum by the RIAA in the United States; his album Catch Bull at Four sold half a million copies in the first two weeks of release alone, and was Billboard's number-one LP for three consecutive weeks. His songwriting has also earned him two ASCAP songwriting awards in consecutive years, for "The First Cut Is the Deepest," which has been a hit single for four different artists, and has been instrumental for others in establishing their musical careers.
Having established a signature sound, Stevens enjoyed a string of successes over the following years. 1971's Teaser and the Firecat album reached number two and achieved gold record status within three weeks of its release in the United States. It yielded several hits, including "Peace Train", "Morning Has Broken" (a Christian hymn with lyrics by Eleanor Farjeon), and "Moon Shadow". This album was also certified by the RIAA as a Multi-Platinum record in 2001, with over three million U.S. Sales through that time.
Stevens converted to Islam at the height of his fame in December, 1977. The following year, he adopted his Muslim name Yusuf Islam, auctioned all his guitars away for charity in 1979, and left his music career to devote himself to educational and philanthropic causes in the Muslim community. He has been given several awards for his work in promoting peace in the world, including 2003's World Award, the 2004 Man for Peace Award and the 2007 Mediterranean Prize for Peace. In 2006, he returned to pop music, with his first album of new pop songs in 28 years, entitled An Other Cup.He lives with his wife and children in London, and spends part of each year in Dubai. [wikipedia]
- 2005 Nomination for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
- On 20 October 2005, ASCAP Named Songwriter of the Year and Song of the Year for "The First Cut Is the Deepest"
- On 11 October 2006, Awarded Songwriter of the Year for the second year running, for the same song "The First Cut Is the Deepest".
- On 25 March 2007, he received the German ECHO "special award for life achievements as musician and ambassador between cultures", Europe's Grammy, in Berlin
- 2008 Nomination for induction into the Songwriters Hall of Fame