Great news music fans! Yusuf Islam (aka Cat Stevens) is coming to South Africa in November 2017! This British singer-songwriting legend and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee is commemorating the 50th anniversary of his first major hit single and debut album Matthew & Son released in 1967 with The Peace Train World Tour.
Here’s a few things you did not know about Yusuf / Cat Stevens:
- He was born as Steven Demetre Georgiou in 1948 in Marylebone, London in the UK.
- His 1972 album Catch Bull at Four spent three weeks at number one on the Billboard 200 (in the USA) and fifteen weeks at number one in the Australian ARIA Charts.
- He remains a popular artist amongst South Africans. The global hit, Can’t Keep It In held the number one spot on the South African national hit parade for six weeks in 1972.
- In 2001/2 Yusuf / Cat Stevens added African harmonies and traditional sounds to two of his major hits, Wild World (Bana, Bana) and Peace Train which he recorded with a local choir, the Incwenga Voices.
- In November 2003 he returned to SA, again to perform Wild World but this time with his former session player, Peter Gabriel as part of the Nelson Mandela’s 46664 concert line-up in Cape Town. He returns to South Africa in November this year for his first ever tour.
- Yusuf also performed Peace Train with this choir at the Market Theatre in Johannesburg as part of the broadcast via satellite to a Stop the War Coalition event in London that also featured Coldplay and Ronan Keating.
- He earned two ASCAP songwriting awards in 2005 and 2006 for “The First Cut Is the Deepest”, and the song has been a hit for four different artists.
- In December 1977, he converted to Islam and he 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.
- In 2006, he returned to pop music – releasing his first album of new pop songs in 28 years, titled An Other Cup.
- To date he’s released 10 studio albums as Cat Stevens and 4 studio albums as Yusuf.
Yusuf / Cat Stevens will be playing at Grand West in Cape Town on the 8th of November, at the Sun Arena, Menlyn Maine in Pretoria on the 12th of November and at the Durban ICC Arena on the 15th of November 2017. Tickets will go on sale at Computicket this Thursday, the 27th of July at 9 AM. Ticket prices range from R450 to R1200.
To get yourself in the mood for his upcoming tour, crank up this live version of “Peace Train” below:
Watch this space for regular updates in the Music category on Running Wolf’s Rant.