11:02 17 September 2009
Yusuf Islam, the musician formerly known as Cat Stevens, is to return to the stage for his first tour in 33 years, he has announced.
The British singer-songwriter will unveil his first stage musical, entitled "Moonshadow" after his hit song of the same name.
The 61-year-old music icon was born in London as Steven Georgiou, before changing his name for the first time to Cat Stevens. Under that moniker he had hits and found critical acclaim in the 1960s and 1970s.
After a near-death incident, he became a Muslim in 1977, adopting the name Yusuf Islam. Since then, public performances have been increasingly rare, as he devoting his time to education and philanthropy.
At the beginning of the new millennium he made a gradual return to music, releasing the album 'An Other Cup' in 2006, his first in 28 years, under the name Yusuf. His latest album is called 'Roadsinger'.
"My songs always told a story, so it's natural for me to extend that into a stage musical form," Yusuf said.
"It's taken a long time to arrive, but it's always been a dream of mine to write a musical. Growing up in the West End of London, surrounded by theatres and shows, obviously left a strong impression on me.
"I originally wanted to be a composer, not a pop star. Strange how it's taken almost a lifetime, but it had to - the story is somewhat a metaphorical mirror of my own journey, so I suppose it had to wait to reach where I am today."
Cat Stevens' hits include 'Don't Be Shy', 'Wild World', 'Morning Has Broken', 'Father And Son' and 'The First Cut Is The Deepest'.
Promoter Harvey Goldsmith said: "Yusuf wanted this return to be different and exciting for his fans. So we created a show that could show him at his best and also incorporate his new project - the musical.
"With 'Moonshadow', he has woven songs old and new into a beautiful story of a boy named Stormy.
"It's an enchanting and inspired tale which is underpinned by a narrative about life's journey, a theme Yusuf knows more about than most."
The four dates announced so far on the "Guess I'll Take My Time Tour", taking place in Dublin, Birmingham, Liverpool and at London's Royal Albert Hall from November to December.
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