Cat Stevens announces first U.S. concert tour since 1976

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
21 PHOTOS
Cat Stevens
See Gallery
Cat Stevens announces first U.S. concert tour since 1976
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 10: Cat Stevens performs onstage at the 29th Annual Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony at Barclays Center of Brooklyn on April 10, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 10: Inductee Cat Stevens performs onstage at the 29th Annual Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony at Barclays Center of Brooklyn on April 10, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 10: Musician Art Garfunkel (L) and inductee Cat Stevens speak onstage at the 29th Annual Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony at Barclays Center of Brooklyn on April 10, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 10: Cat Stevens speaks onstage at the 29th Annual Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony at Barclays Center of Brooklyn on April 10, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 10: Cat Stevens speaks onstage at the 29th Annual Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony at Barclays Center of Brooklyn on April 10, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 10: Cat Stevens speaks onstage at the 29th Annual Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony at Barclays Center of Brooklyn on April 10, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 10: Inductee Cat Stevens performs onstage at the 29th Annual Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony at Barclays Center of Brooklyn on April 10, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 10: Inductee Cat Stevens speaks onstage at the 29th Annual Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony at Barclays Center of Brooklyn on April 10, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 10: Inductee Cat Stevens speaks onstage at the 29th Annual Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony at Barclays Center of Brooklyn on April 10, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 10: Inductee Cat Stevens performs onstage at the 29th Annual Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony at Barclays Center of Brooklyn on April 10, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 10: Cat Stevens speaks onstage at the 29th Annual Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony at Barclays Center of Brooklyn on April 10, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 10: Cat Stevens performs onstage at the 29th Annual Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony at Barclays Center of Brooklyn on April 10, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)
London-born musician Yusuf Islam, formerly known as Cat Stevens, stands by his tour campervan after a rehearsal at Elstree Studios in Borehamwood, north west London, Thursday, Nov. 12, 2009. (AP Photo / Joel Ryan)
London-born musician Yusuf Islam, formerly known as Cat Stevens, peforms during a rehearsal at Elstree Studios in Borehamwood, north west London, Thursday, Nov. 12, 2009. (AP Photo/Joel Ryan)
Yusuf Islam, formerly Cat Stevens, performs during a sound check for his concert at the El Rey Theater in Los Angeles, Monday, May 11, 2009. The show marks Yusuf Islam's first concert in Los Angeles in more than 33 years. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)
Evangelical pastor Rick Warren, left, shakes hands with Yusuf Islam, best know by his former stage name Cat Stevens, after speaking at the Islamic Society of North America's 46th annual convention in Washington, Saturday July 4, 2009. (AP Photo/Luis M. Alvarez)
Folk artist Yusuf (formerly Cat Stevens), left, performs with the band The Roots and comedian Jon Stewart during comedians Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert's Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear on the National Mall in Washington, Saturday, Oct. 30, 2010. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
Yusuf Islam, the singer formerly known as Cat Stevens, tours the tsunami devastated neighborhoods of Banda Aceh, Indonesia, Saturday, Jan. 29, 2005. Islam has composed a new song, "Indian Ocean," in response to the disaster and recently recorded it with musicians including A.R. Rahman, the prolific Indian composer/producer, Magne Furuholmen of A-Ha fame, and Travis drummer Neil Primrose. It will be released in February to raise money for children orphaned by the earthquake. The man at right is unidentified. (AP Photo/Firdia Lisnawati)
British music star Cat Stevens, who converted to Islam and became Yusuf Islam, sings on stage for the first time since he left show business in Sarajevo on Friday, Jan 24, 1997. Islam sings his song "Mother, Father, Brother, Sister" which promotes his new music project based on Bosnian folk songs. (AP Photo/Rikard Larma)
Yusuf Islam, the singer formerly known as Cat Stevens, promoting, The Life of the Last Prophet, his first recordings in nearly 20 years, as a celebration of Islam, in Harrods Department store in London, Tuesday September 5, 1995. (AP Photo/Rebecca Naden)
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE
SHOW CAPTION +
HIDE CAPTION


By DAVID BAUDER

NEW YORK (AP) - New Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member Cat Stevens is taking the "Peace Train" back on the road.

He announced Monday that he will make a six-city concert tour in North America this December, his first series of shows in the U.S. since 1976. His conversion to Islam followed, putting his music career on hold for a quarter century.

Stevens, who also is releasing a blues album on Oct. 27 produced by Rick Rubin and titled "Tell 'Em I'm Gone," is using that stage name along with Yusuf, the name he took when he converted.

The performer of 1970s-era hits "Wild World," ''Morning Has Broken" and "Peace Train" has slowly broken back into secular music during the past decade and has made only a handful of semi-public and television appearances in the U.S.

"I've been a bit slow in coming around to the United States, but there were so many people asking me to do that, that I just felt an obligation," Stevens said in a telephone interview from Dubai, where he lives most of the time now.

The title of the "Peace Train ... Late Again" tour refers to his unhurried music career. Only six dates are scheduled so far - starting Dec. 1 in Toronto and hitting Boston, New York, Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Stevens said he frequently gets feedback on Facebook asking him to perform more and that it makes him feel guilty "because I'm not doing as much as they want me to do. Then again, I'm 66 years old, and I do take things in my stride."

Stevens, who was inducted into the rock hall this spring in Brooklyn, said he had a lot of hesitation about getting back into the music business.

"That's something I ran away from a long time ago," he said. "But that's not to say the music business is the same as making music. When I finally reconciled my questions about the issue - where it should be in my life - by that time, I had something to say.

wouldn't be writing songs if I didn't have something to say." Despite the political climate, with the U.S. fighting Islamic State militants in the Middle East, Stevens said he didn't expect his faith to be an issue when he goes on the road in this country.

"I'm afraid that a lot of things that people believe about Islam are totally different from the religion that most of us recognize," he said. "I was really fortunate that I got to know Islam before it became a headline."

Gary Bongiovanni, editor of the concert industry trade publication Pollstar, said he didn't expect problems, although it would be different if Stevens had spoken out in favor of the Islamic State militants, for instance.

He said it looked like a modest tour designed to test the waters and that if Stevens makes clear he'll be playing his old hits - Stevens said he will - he should get some interest.

More from AOL:
First US strikes in expanded fight against ISIS
Eagles-Colts comes down to final seconds
Thai police hunt for killers of 2 British tourists
Hillary's 2016 aspirations face new challenger

Read Full Story

People are Reading