The Artist formerly known as Cat Stevens is back, sort of. He’s changed his name and a few of his views, but his message of peace remains the same.
Cat Stevens, age 60, now lives in London, where he goes by the name Yusef Islam, a change he made after converting to the Islamic faith. The former Mr. Stevens sold over 60 million records before taking what he refers to as “a fantastic 28 year respite” from the rigors of constant touring and recording.
During his show-biz down time, TAFKACS (the artist formerly known as Cat Stevens) soon found himself at the center of controversy, causing an uproar with comments he made about author, Salmon Rushdie concerning the Koran. Words like ‘fatwa’ were tossed about.
Islam, born Steven Demetre Georgiou, changed his ways after the Rushdie incident, and in 2004, found himself the recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize laureates’ Man of Peace award. Islam had come full circle.
Enter Yusef. In 2006, TAFKACS released a new compilation of songs, titled An Other Cup. Little about the sound has changed, as the two are of course, the same man, perhaps, one braver, the other wiser.
Yusef is currently working on a follow up to An Other Cup, although a name for the new CD, distributed by Universal Music, has yet to be announced. Oh, and that hair of his is mostly intact, as is his message of peace. Let’s see if this time anyone is listening.