Cat Stevens

Cat StevensFrom: London, England

Cat Stevens, now known as Yusuf Islam (born Steven Demetre Georgiou; 21 July 1948), is a British singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, humanitarian, education philanthropist, and prominent convert to Islam.

His early 1970s record albums Tea for the Tillerman and Teaser and the Firecat were both certified triple platinum in the United States by the RIAA. His 1972 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. He has also earned two ASCAP songwriting awards in consecutive years for “The First Cut Is the Deepest”, which has been a hit single for four different artists.

Stevens converted to Islam in December 1977 and adopted the name Yusuf Islam the following year. In 1979, he auctioned all his guitars for charity 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 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 pop songs in 28 years, entitled An Other Cup. He now goes professionally by the single name Yusuf. His most recent album, Roadsinger, was released on 5 May 2009.

Early musical career

Georgiou began to perform his songs in coffee houses and pubs. At first he tried forming a band, but soon realised he preferred performing solo. Thinking that his given name might not be memorable to prospective fans, he chose a stage name 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’. And in England, and I was sure in America, they loved animals.” 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 number 28, and “Matthew and Son”, the title song from his debut album, went to number 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.

Over the next two years, Stevens recorded and toured with an eclectic group of artists ranging from Jimi Hendrix to Engelbert Humperdinck. Stevens was considered a fresh-faced teen star, placing several single releases in the British pop music charts. Some of that success was attributed to the pirate radio station Wonderful Radio London, which gained him fans by playing his records. In August 1967, he went on the air with other recording artists who had benefited from the station to mourn its closure.

His December 1967 album New Masters failed to chart in the United Kingdom. The album is now most notable for his song “The First Cut Is the Deepest”, a song he sold for £30 to P.P. Arnold that was to become a massive hit for her, and an international hit for Keith Hampshire, Rod Stewart, James Morrison, and Sheryl Crow. Forty years after he recorded the first demo of the song, it earned him two back-to-back ASCAP “Songwriter of the Year” awards, in 2005 and 2006. ~ Wikipedia

Feel free to use our Facebook page to discuss & ask any questions you have about this artist, a fellow PsycheHead is sure to have the answer.

Tracks played on Psychedelicized…

From 1967 album Matthew and Son
Matthew and Son

  • Matthew and Son



From 1967 album New Masters
New Masters

  • The First Cut Is The Deepest