Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Islam and the West: Good vibes from Yusuf Islam (formerly Cat Stevens) - CNN

Yusuf, formerly Cat Stevens, brings good vibes
By Denise Quan, CNN, May 18, 2009

LOS ANGELES, California (CNN) -- It was the hottest ticket in town. Colin Farrell was there. So were Michelle Branch, Josh Groban and Chris Isaak -- the latter accompanied by his manager's dog, Rodney.

Yusuf, formerly known as Cat Stevens, believes he can help bridge gaps between cultures.

No, we're not talking about a Britney Spears or U2 concert. We're talking about a star-studded, invitation-only club show by Yusuf -- the artist formerly known as Cat Stevens.

It was the legendary folk singer's first L.A. show in 33 years, and the audience gave him a heartfelt "welcome back."

He played for just over an hour: half a dozen songs from his new album, "Roadsinger," plus a few gems from the '60s and '70s. It was "Peace Train" that elicited a singalong, with the entire room participating in the song's signature hand claps.

Branch, who sings backup on Yusuf's new album, admitted to getting teary-eyed. "You don't understand," she said. "I learned how to play guitar with the Cat Stevens songbook!"

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