Cat of Controversy

Cat Stevens, born Steven Georgiou in London in 1948 of a Swedish mother and a Cypriot father, is arguably the most famous pop musician in the world of Cypriot origin.

The peak of his fame was the 1970s, however, but when he converted to Islam in 1977, he shortly thereafter suspended his musical career, citing the temptations of the music industry running contrary to the teachings of the Quran.

Almost three decades later, however, Stevens, who is now known as Yusuf Islam, returned to the stage again. He still makes millions every year from his royalties, but has given away a great deal of it to various charities and humanitarian causes.

It was reported in the news that he had approved of the jihadist fatwa on Salman Rushdie, though he has denied ever supporting that, or any other death threats. Nonetheless, he has remained a polarizing figure, revered by some, villified by others.

Few, however, dispute his musical genius.

The video is from his days as Cat Stevens, singing one of his international pop hits – “Moonshadow”