London, UK- In a rare interview to be shown later this week on ITV, Yusuf Islam, formerly known as Cat Stevens, talked frankly about his past, his present, his future and his faith.
Many years ago, Cat Stevens was a highly successful singer/songwriter who penned such radio-friendly hits like "Wild World," "Oh! Very Young," and "Peace Train." He shocked his fans at the height of his success in the late 1970's by announcing that he had converted to the Islamic faith, changed his name to Yusuf Islam, and would be giving up the music business entirely.
Over the last three decades, Stevens has become an elusive and private figure who rarely gives interviews and tries his best to stay out of the public eye.
"I'm sure there are many people who just don't understand the choice that I made," says Islam in the interview. "I'm perfectly fine with that. I could never expect everyone to understand why I did what I did."
Perhaps most surprising, however, was the reason Islam gave as to why he made the decision to join the Islamic faith.
"People have always speculated as to my motive for becoming a Muslim. Most people think it's because I believe strongly in the faith, or because I thought it would be the best way to stay off of the radar. None of that is true. My real reason for doing this was simply that I wanted to be promised seventy-seven virgins when I die."
Islam goes on to say that he has always had a thing for virgins and that is probably the one thing he misses about the fame of the of music business.
"I was getting laid almost every night back in the early seventies and most of the girls were virgins. Some were fifteen or sixteen. Those were the days," says Islam. "Unfortunately, it gets to a point where you get so incredibly old and suddenly you just can't shack up with virgins anymore. So I found myself in a crisis. Really, becoming a Muslim was the only choice for me."
When asked if he would ever consider making a comeback, Islam seemed rather hesitant and indecisive.
"I highly doubt it," he stated, "but then again, if there are enough virgins out there who find an old man like me desirable, then maybe I'd consider doing another tour."