Islam Plays First U.s. Concert In 33 Years
Singer/songwriter YUSUF ISLAM returned to the U.S. stage for the first time in 33 years on Monday (11May09) when he played a set in Los Angeles.
The folk star, formerly known as Cat Stevens, was due to make his American comeback with a show in New York earlier this month (03May09), but it was postponed due to a visa issue.
However, the 60-year-old's U.S. immigration problems were resolved in time for his private album release party at the El Rey Theatre on Monday night - and Islam made light of the situation as he played to the 400 fans in attendance.
He told the crowd, "I bet you thought we'd never make it."
Islam treated the audience to a string of classics, including Peace Train, Where Do the Children Play? and Wild World, as well as tracks from his new disc Roadsinger.
He last performed in the U.S. in 1976, before turning his back on his music career after converting to Islam.
More recent attempts to return to the country have been plagued by immigration difficulties. In 2004, the star found himself in front of panicked Homeland Security officials in Maine when his flight to Nashville, Tennessee, was diverted.
He was en-route to record music for his 2006 album An Other Cup.
Islam and his daughter, who was accompanying him, were detained for hours because his name was similar to one on a federal list of people considered dangerous to the U.S. in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.