Cat Stevens Biography

Cat Stevens is a British singer-songwriter who spends a lot of his time in philanthropic and educational causes for the Muslim society. This biography provides detailed information about his childhood, life, achievements, works & timeline

Quick Facts

Birthday: July 21, 1948

Nationality: British

Famous: Alcoholics Humanitarian

Sun Sign: Cancer

Age: 70 Years, 70 Year Old Males

Also Known As: Yusuf Islam, Steven Demetre Georgiou

Born in: Marylebone

Famous as: Singer-songwriter

Height: 1.78 m

Spouse/Ex-: Fawzia Ali

father: Stavros Georgiou

mother: Ingrid Wickman

siblings: Anita Georgiou, David Georgiou

children: Aminah Yusuf, Hasanah Yusuf, Yoriyos

religion: Islam

Founder/Co-Founder: Islamia Primary School, Brondesbury College

Net worth: $5 million as of Jan 15, 2017

More Facts

education: Ealing, Hammersmith and West London College

awards: 2004 - Man of Peace
2003 - World Award
2007 - Echo Award for Lifetime Achievement Award International

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Cat Stevens is a British singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and humanitarian. In his childhood he was inspired by the musicians performing at the Denmark Street, which was a centre of the British music industry. Listeners of the 1970s remember him as the soft and romantic singer whose singles always tore through the charts and were Top Ten mainstays. His success and recognition can be adjudged by the fact that several of his albums achieved gold-record status and he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. At the peak of his career, he had a life-altering experience and accepted Islam as his religion. Stevens stopped writing and singing music for a couple of decades and devoted his life to educational and philanthropic causes for Muslim community. He received two honorary doctorates for the work he did in promoting peace. He returned to music in the 1990s after properly understanding the message about music in Islamic culture and believes it is vital to preach to the world the finer aspects related to Islam. In 1979, he married Fauzia Mubarak Ali who bore him five children. The whole family currently lives in London

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Cat Stevens
Childhood & Early Life
  • Cat Stevens, was born as Steven Georgiou, on July 21, 1948 in London. His parents Stavros Georgiou and Ingrid Wickman were restaurateurs. Steven had two elder siblings, Anita and David.
  • His parents divorced when he was eight, but continued to live above their restaurant, Moulin Rouge. The children often helped by working in the restaurant after coming back from the St Joseph Roman Catholic Primary School where they studied.
  • His first musical instrument was the family's baby grand piano. Thrilled by The Beatles, he bought a £8 guitar at the age of 15 and began playing and writing songs.
  • He and his mother went to Gavle, Sweden for a brief time. There he attended the primary school and developed his drawing skills. After attending several other local West End schools he took a one year course at Hammersmith School of Art to become a cartoonist.
  • This impulse was quickly overtaken by the will to become a musician and he performed at a local bar named Black Horse under the stage name 'Steve Adams', in 1964, for the first time.
  • He signed his first publishing deal as a songwriter in 1965 with Ardmore and Beechwood and adopted the stage name 'Cat Stevens'.
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Career
  • In 1966, Mike Hurst was impressed with Cat Stevens’ talent and got him a record deal. His singles 'Matthew and Son' and 'I'm Gonna Get Me a Gun' charted at No. 2 and No. 6 respectively. The album 'Matthew and Son' reached No. 7 on the UK Albums Chart.
  • In the next two years he released several singles that occupied the British Pop Music charts and toured England and Europe with Jimi Hendrix and Engelbert Humperdinck. Pirate station Wonderful Radio London is credited for furthering his popularity.
  • After gaining recognition he wanted to release some seasoned tracks, but his producer declined as Stevens’ image was more of a teen pop star. This shocked Steven and he went into a depression and became an alcoholic.
  • In 1968, he was diagnosed with tuberculosis and he spent a year in convalescence. This period gave him the time to reflect on his life and spirituality and he started doing yoga and meditation. On the musical front, he penned over 40 songs.
  • His new agent Barry Krost got him an audition with Chris Blackwell of Island records. On Blackwell's assurance that Stevens could make any type of music with any artist he wished for, Stevens signed the deal in 1970 and Paul Samwell-Smith became his producer.
  • His next album 'Mona Bone Jakon' (1970) was a folk rock based album and also featured guitarist Alun Davies. It sold over 500,000 copies and was awarded a gold status in 1971. The album was released in the US by A&M Records.
  • He released the album 'Teaser and the Firecat' in 1971 and it peaked at No. 2 on the charts. The album was a huge hit as it achieved gold record status in just three weeks of its release.
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  • His album 'Izitso' came out in 1977 and had extensive use of synthesizers. The techno-pop tracks developed by music sequencers proved to be a precursor to the 1980s electric music genre.
  • He took a long break from his musical career following his conversion to Islam in 1977.
  • He resumed his music career in the 1990s with songs on Islamic themes. He launched his own recording studio named 'Mountain of Light' and a record label 'Jamal Records'.
  • He performed at the Nelson Mandela's 46664 concert in 2003; his first English performance after a 25 year hiatus. He re-recorded 'Peace Train' along with David Bowie and Paul McCartney.
  • He released a song 'Indian Ocean' about the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami disaster along with A R Rahman, Magne Furuholmen and Neil Primrose in early 2005. The proceeds were used to help those affected by the tsunami.
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Major Works
  • His album 'Catch Bull at Four' spent three weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and 15 weeks at the top of Australian ARIA Charts.
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Awards & Achievements
  • He was honoured with the World Award in 2003 and the Man of Peace Award of the World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates in 2004.
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  • Stevens was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Gloucestershire in 2005 and by the University of Exeter in 2007.
  • He won the ASCAP Songwriter of the Year Award in 2005 and 2006, and the ECHO "Special Award for Life Achievements as a Musician and Ambassador Between Cultures", in 2007.
  • He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2014.
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Personal Life & Legacy
  • In 1976 he nearly drowned off the coast of Malibu, US. After he was washed ashore he took this as a sign of divine intervention and started reading the Qur'an given to him by his brother. He felt very familiar with Joseph's life and converted to Islam in 1977 and adopted the name Yusuf Islam in 1978.
  • Stevens was engaged to Louise Wightman for a short time. Then he married Fauzia Mubarak Ali on September 7, 1979 in London and the couple have five children.
  • When asked about his view on the fatwa calling for the death of Salman Rushdie in 1989, he merely recounted the legal Islamic punishment. His comments were misinterpreted by the media as a supporter of the fatwa.
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Net Worth
  • Cat Stevens’ estimated net worth is $5 million.
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Trivia
  • Cat Stevens has done a lot of philanthropic work till now. He founded the Islamia Primary School in 1983. In 1992, he founded ‘The Association of Muslim Schools’, a charity that brought together all Muslim schools in the UK. He was the chairman of the Muslim Aid charity organisation from 1985 to 1993.
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How To Cite

Article Title
- Cat Stevens Biography
Author
- Editors, TheFamousPeople.com
Website
- TheFamousPeople.com
URL
https://www.thefamouspeople.com/profiles/yusuf-islam-6166.php
Last Updated
- September 18, 2017

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