Stephen Demetre Georgiou born July 21, 1948 in London, known as Cat Stevens between 1966 and 1978, is a singer, composer and author of Britain. In 1978, he converted to Islam and took the name Yusuf Islam. He now lives in London and took part in operations Muslim charities.
Stephen Demetre Georgiou was born July 21, 1948 in London of a Greek Cypriot father and a Swedish mother. He studied in a Catholic school in which it will keep a strong religiosity. Her father, Stavros, and his mother, Ingrid, running a restaurant and the whole family lived above. Stephen has a brother and a sister older than him, David and Anita. Under the influence of his parents, he practices very early music, first on the piano and then the guitar. At age 16, he played in the evenings in bars where he will know and at the age of 17 he entered an art school.
At 18, he arrived at the producer Mike Hurst who asked him to show him his compositions. Immediately conquered, the producer asked him his name [ref. Required], he responds, "My name is Stephen but they call me Cat Stevens" (nickname was given to him by a girl because he had cat eyes [ref. Necessary]), is now under this title it is known.
In 1966 he published a large number of songs. He knows rapid success and fame with his first title I love my dog. After a period of illness - he had contracted tuberculosis - he released his first album, Matthew and Son in 1967 to be followed by a dozen others.
It is accompanied just a guitar or a piano he interprets these folk who walks bring him worldwide fame and make him a key singers of his era.
From 1967 to 1977, the culmination of this year career as 1970, it will multiply the success (40 million records). His work over this period remains very popular and has several hits such as The First Cut Is The Deepest, Father and Son, Wild World of Arbanville Lady and the past two as a tribute to the actress Patti d'Arbanville his girlfriend at the time. It has become the global success that we know. Patti d'Arbanville, warholienne muse, is an actress at the age of 17 in the cult Flesh (1968) by Paul Morrissey. In 1971, he composed the entirety of the soundtrack to the classic Harold and Maude Hal Ashby with famous songs such as Do not be Shy, or Trouble If you want to sing out.
After his conversion to Islam, he gave up his life as a pop star. He returned to singing in 1985 to take part in Live Aid humanitarian organization. Approximately three decades after he abandoned the life of an artist (see below), it announces a new album of songs for the fall of 2006, which aims to promote understanding of Islam by the western world.
Having miraculously survived an accident on December 23, 1977 (he says he was saved by God [ref. Necessary]), Cat Stevens renounces his life as a folk artist to embrace the Muslim religion under the name Yusuf Islam.
It was under this name that he now lives in the UK with his wife and daughters. He participates in Islamic movements (he founded an association to help Muslims), and continues to sing songs mostly religious (anasheed), as well as for charitable operations (such as the 2004 tsunami). His conversion led him to wonder about the compatibility between music folk / pop and rigorous practice of Islam, which is why he stopped for years to sing songs other than religious. It was not until 2006 that he decided to release a new album pop, An Other Cup.
His conversion to Islam was also a source of controversy.
In 1989, when he was asked what he thought about the Fatwa against Salman Rushdie, he declared himself to be opposed to the writings of the writer and does not show any opposition to the fatwa. The controversy raised by this statement to clarify pushed in a statement he did not personally implementation of the fatwa (calling for the assassination of Salman Rushdie).
Two versions on this controversy: his words, in front of students, have been misinterpreted and distorted. It is true that Cat Stevens / Yusuf Islam was, is and will probably remain a man of peace, repeating in connection with the September 11, 2001 and its events that the Koran "equates the murder of one innocent person with the murder of the whole of humanity "considers the murder of an innocent just as much as if they were all mankind.
In 2004 he was at the center of another controversy when, on Flight 919 United Airlines from London to Washington, the American security services were in the emergency landing his plane because the computer system (Computer Assisted Passenger Prescreening System) marked his name as registered on the "No Fly List". The American authorities accuse him funding Hamas, but provide no evidence that supports this claim. It is therefore prohibited from entering the territory of the United States. At its descent aircraft, the FBI then put into custody and then returns to the United Kingdom a few days later. To date, there are still forbidden to stay in the United States (USA). This pushes the former foreign minister Jack Straw to complain to his counterpart Colin Powell, the American secretary of state at the time, in the UN. According to Yusuf Islam, the man who appears on the list was called Yousef Islam and said that Yusuf Islam (itself) is not the man sought.