Yusuf Islam, the veteran artist formerly know as Cat Stevens, was named songwriter of the year tonight (Oct. 19) at the ASCAP Awards in London.

Yusuf Islam, the veteran artist formerly know as Cat Stevens, was named songwriter of the year tonight (Oct. 19) at the ASCAP Awards in London.

Islam also received the song of the year honor for "First Cut Is The Deepest," which was first released in 1967. The song was subsequently covered by several artists, including Rod Stewart and, more recently, Sheryl Crow.

Islam retired from music in 1978 after becoming a Muslim. Earlier this year, he released his first song in 27 years, "Indian Ocean," and inked a long-term global publishing pact with EMI Music Publishing.

The ASCAP gala dinner and awards presentation honored British writer and publisher members from Performing Right Society whose repertoire is licensed by ASCAP and is among its most performed works in the United States during 2004.

Other winners on the night included BMG Music Publishing Ltd for publisher of the year, while British act Keane took the ASCAP College Award.