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February : February 5.
A private showing of Yusuf’s stage musical, Moonshadow, at the Drill Hall, London. The musical tells the story of the search for the perfect world through both old songs and new. The title character, named after one of Yusuf’s best known songs, is a guide for the hero, named Stormy.
April : April 15.
Yusuf is invited by actor Kevin Spacey to perform at a fundraiser for the Old Vic Theatre in London. He performs a three song set, and duets with Spacey on the Bobby Darin song, “Simple Song of Freedom”.
June : June 24.
Yusuf travels to Los Angeles for the first time in years, where he takes time to catch up with old friends and explore some music ideas, recording demo tracks at the famous House of Blues studio.
July : July 1.
World Entertainment News Network publish an apology following their distribution of a fabricated rumour that Yusuf refuses to speak with unveiled women. Substantial compensation is paid to a charity of Yusuf’s choice.
July : July 15.
Yusuf is in the USA again, this time Nashville. Dolly Parton isn’t around, but Yusuf meets Led Zeppelin lead singer Robert Plant (whom he saw perform live in LA a few weeks earlier), and later Sheryl Crow, who won a Grammy Award for her cover of the classic Cat Stevens song The First Cut Is The Deepest. Yusuf also visits the Country Music Hall of Fame, and records further demo tracks.
July : July 29.
Yusuf invites Sir Paul McCartney to a recording session in London to sing on a new track entitled, ‘Boots & Sand’. The song is written by Yusuf about the “No-Fly Listâ€ saga when, together with his daughter, he was refused entry into the USA in 2004. Drawing on influences from Nashville and Liverpool-rock sounds, it also features Dolly Parton, Alison Krauss and Terry Sylvester. It promises to be a classic.
August : August.
Yusuf, together with his wife and daughter, are privileged with a visit to view a precious collection of rare items of the Last Prophet’s clothing at a museum in Istanbul. They are personally shown round the museum and given an opportunity to view, at close hand, the remains of a sandal and shirt belonging to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) during a holiday in Turkey.
October : October 25.
Yusuf is guest of honour at the Global Peace & Unity event’s Education Awards, held at ExCel London. He sings a short, impromptu a cappella rendition of Peace Train at the request of the host.
November : November 4.
Nearly four decades after their first release, the classic Cat Stevens albums Tea for the Tillerman and Teaser and the Firecat are reissued as newly re-mastered deluxe editions. They include previously unreleased demos and historical live performances chosen by Yusuf himself. Each package also features a booklet of original artwork, and new liner notes by producer Paul Samwell-Smith, long time guitarist Alun Davies, and Yusuf.
November : November 20.
Filming commences for the Boots & Sand music video, directed by Jesse Dylan. Shot in the Californian desert outside Los Angeles, the video features a cast of over a dozen extras.