Yusuf Islam (aka Cat Stevens) is the celebrated educator, philanthropist, and humanitarian, whose renowned career as a singer-songwriter has earned him the admiration of millions of fans worldwide.
One of the world’s most famous converts, he embraced Islam in 1977 and went on to become an energetic supporter of education and charitable causes. He founded three mainstream faith schools in London which have been running for three decades.
He is the recipient of numerous accolades for his work in alleviating poverty and promoting peace, including the ‘World Social Award’ (2003) presented by Mikhail Gorbachev, the ‘Man for Peace’ award (2004) from a committee on Nobel peace laureates, and the 2007 Mediterranean Prize for Peace as well as the Ivor Novello award for outstanding song collection. For two years in succession in 2005 and 2006 he was named songwriter of the year by the performing rights organisation, the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers. He holds honorary doctorates from Gloucestershire and Exeter universities.
His performances over the past decade have included the Nelson Mandela AIDS benefit concert, Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s Peace Centre concert and as the closing act at the German leg of Live Earth. In 2008, at the invitation of actor Kevin Spacey, he performed at a fundraiser for London’s Old Vic Theatre.
The 2012 Three Faiths Forum Education Awards, London, were presented by Yusuf Islam in recognition of schools and educationalists that have made significant contributions to interfaith work.
His most ambitious project in recent years has been his stage musical, Moonshadow, which opened to packed houses in Australia earlier in 2012.
2013 will see the opening of his interfaith, wellbeing and exhibition centre in North West London, called the Maqam Centre.
Yusuf Islam currently resides with his family in Dubai where he continues to write, record and perform.