December 23, 1977

December23Today in 1977, singer-songwriter Cat Stevens formally changed his name to Yusef Islam.

While on vacation in Morocco, Stevens was introduced to the sound of the Islamic ritual call to prayer, the thought of which intrigued him.

The transition shocked a lot of people, but Stevens told Rolling Stone magazine: “I had found the spiritual home I’d been seeking for most of my life.”

Stevens took a long hiatus from music at this time. However, following the terrorist attacks of September 11, he performed his song ‘Peace Train’ for the October 2001 Concert for New York City. The performance marked the first time he sang the track in 20 years.

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