Cat Stevens or Yusuf Islam was born Steven Demetre Georgiou on July 21, 1948, in London, England. Yusuf knew music at a relatively young age. When he was 12 years old, Yusuf who had been able to play the piano began learning to play guitar and write songs.
Stevens became a convert and converted to Islam in 1978 after experiencing near-death experience. He took the name Yusuf Islam and became a new vocal religious preacher. A decade later there was controversy when he made a statement supporting the fatwa issued against the author Salman Rushdie, and in 2004 his name was discussed again after he was refused entry to the United States because the name was found on a no-fly list. It turns out there was a mistake and what was sought was another person named Youssouf Islam.
Yusuf Islam now lives in London with his wife and five children where he is an active member of the congregation. He founded the Small Kindness humanitarian foundation which originally helped victims of hunger in Africa and is now helping thousands of orphans and families in the Balkans, Indonesia and Iraq. Islam also established the Muslim Aid humanitarian foundation but left it as the founding Chair in 1999.
Yusuf began his career in the music world by playing folk songs at local cafes and pubs. In 1966 when Joseph was 18 years old, Mike Hurst, a producer then offered him to record an album. Yusuf’s first album entitled MATTHEW AND SON was released in 1967 and made it into the top 10 albums in the UK. In a short time, Cat Stevens’s popularity soared. In his 18 years of age, Cat Stevens has been playing on stage with high-class musicians such as Jimi Hendrix and Engelbert Humperdinck.
Cat Stevens releasing 12 albums that were quite successful on the market until finally, an accident made him focus more on his religious life. Cat Stevens’s decision to convert to Islam finally ended the Cat Stevens music career at the top.
Cat Stevens, who later changed its name to Yusuf Islam, was more active in religious and social activities. It was only around 1995 that Yusuf Islam plunged back into the world of music but more on music that smelled spiritually. As Yusuf Islam, he released 9 spiritual albums.