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The musical odyssey of Cat Stevens is well documented, from teenage London art school songsmith (The First Cut Is The Deepest, the Tremeloes Here Comes My Baby) to introspective cornerstone of the 1970s singer-songwriter movement. Who can measure the courage it took him in the late 70s, after seven years of multi-platinum success in the U.S. (and over a decade in the UK) to convert to Islam, amidst the wave of turmoil and confusion that was engulfing the world? He left his touring and recording life behind and named himself Yusuf Islam. Inevitably, many long-time fans abandoned him, he found certain international borders closed and worse yet, controversies laid at his doorstep despite his humanist background. It was 17 difficult years between his final LP as Cat Stevens (1978s Back To Earth), and the first CD as Yusuf and more than a decade until his first pop album in nearly 30 years (An Other Cup in 2006). When I accepted Islam, he told Rolling Stone, a lot of people couldnt understand. To my fans it seemed that my entering Islam was the direct cause of me leaving the music business, so many people were upset. However, I had found the spiritual home Id been seeking for most of my life. And if you listen to my music and lyrics, like Peace Train and On The Road To Find Out, it clearly shows my yearning for direction and the spiritual path I was travelling. The musical gifts that he has shared with the world are an important chapter in rock history -- a beacon of hope that will never be extinguished.

Cat Stevens