The island of Cyprus is generally not considered as a home of pop music. But two superstars of the international music scene have their roots in Cyprus. On the one hand, there is Cat Stevens, who was already enjoying great success in the mid-1960s. George Michael followed in his footsteps in the 1980s. He was initially a member of the Wham and then a superstar as a solo artist. The two musicians are still the most famous musical figureheads on the island.
Cat Stevens, now called Yusuf, was born Steven Demetre Georgiou in London. He is the son of the Cypriot Greek Stavros Georgiou and the Swede Ingrid Wickman. Stevens grew up in Soho, London. He has had numerous hits since the mid-1960s and 1970s, including Lady D’Arbanville, Father and Son, Morning Has Brokers and Matthew & Son. To date, the musician has sold more than 24 million records. His greatest hits compilation alone sold more than 5 million copies. Numerous ups and downs marked his life. At the age of 18, Cat Stevens already had his first hits in the charts. But a few years later, the record company did not renew his record deal. A change of record company worked wonders. A little later, the musician was back on top and celebrated numerous hits. The musician almost drowned in the mid-1970s. He attributed his salvation to divine providence. Two years later, the musician turned to Islam and dropped his stage name Cat Stevens. From then on, he only performed under the name Yusuf Islam and refused to publish further records. His hiatus would last eighteen years. It wasn’t until the mid-1990s that the musician rereleased music. However, it would take another ten years before he released a new album with new songs. Since then, Cat Stevens / Yusuf, who now has both names equally, has been on tour again.
From Teen Star To Serious Artist
George Michael was the son of a Greek Cypriot father and a British mother. He also started his career very early. He founded the band, Wham when he was only 17 years old. At the age of only 18, the band had their first hits. Wham, although performed as an equal duo, George Michael dominated the round in all respects. He wrote all of the songs and was the celebrated star of the teen band. When his solo singles became worldwide hits, the band came to their end. George Michael already announced their breakup two albums after the start of the band career. His solo debut made him the most successful singer in the world. The critics highly praised the successors by the critics, but could not follow up on the immense success of Faith. There was also a legal dispute with his record company that lasted several years and put his career on hold for a long time. In the last few years of his life, George Michael had repeatedly struggled with health problems. He died unexpectedly in December 2016 at the age of only 53, leaving behind an extensive musical legacy.