“You can argue with a philosopher,
but you can’t argue with a good song”.
Dr. Yusuf Islam / Cat StevensThis 65 year old English man initially played the piano in his parent’s restaurant. He is entrenched in the folk scene and released his first album when he was 18. Living near London’s West End had a large musical influence on him. Even though he was born as a Greek Orthodox, he was sent to a Roman Catholic school. This combination of religious influences helped him develop a strong moral conscience, and provided an anti-Muslim slant to his upbringing. Being influenced by The Beatles, he got his first guitar at 15 and started writing and singing his own music. One of the first songs he wrote was ‘The First cut is the Deepest’ which he sold for $40. In 1979, he auctioned all his guitars for charity and left his music career after he converted to Islam in December 1977 and adopted the name Yusuf Islam. From then, he devoted his time 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 the 2003 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 songs in 28 years, entitled An Other Cup. He is now known professionally by the single name Yusuf.His most recent album, Roadsinger, was released on 5 May 2009.