Prolific singer-songwriter Yusuf Islam — better known by stage name Cat Stevens — has extended his deal with BMG, which was originally formed in 2010. Under this new agreement, Stevens is entrusting the media company with over 50 years of his original songs and recordings, as well as other visual, audio and literary content. The news comes just ahead of the iconic musician’s 70th birthday on Saturday.
In addition to administering rights for Yusuf/Steven’s entire music publishing catalog, BMG will also be responsible for releasing celebrated titles from his collection dating back to 1976. Moving forward, BMG will be collaborating with the artist’s own Cat-O-Log Records company to honor his existing body of work while also striving to reach new audiences.
“Cat-O-Log owns the rights to a significant body of Yusuf’s work, much of it unavailable for years,” said Peter Stack, evp, global catalog recordings, BMG said in a statement. “We look forward to working with Yusuf and his management, led by Yoriyos, to take it to a worldwide audience.”
Of the new deal, Yusuf/Steven said, “We are happy to continue our relationship with the BMG family. I feel very at home and lots of new creative ventures will soon come to light through the ethical vision we share.”
Alistair Norbury, president, repertoire and marketing, BMG UK added, “Yusuf has guaranteed his place in the pantheon of British songwriters over a period of 50 years. We are delighted that he has extended his relationship with us in this way.”
According to a press release from BMG, the first of many anticipated reissues and new releases will become available in 2019.