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Last Updated: Tuesday, 9 November, 2004, 09:03 GMT
Cat Stevens honoured by Gorbachev
Yusuf Islam
Yusuf Islam was refused entry to the US in September
Singer Yusuf Islam, formerly known as Cat Stevens, has been presented with a Man of Peace award by ex-Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev.

The 57-year-old, who was refused entry to the US on security grounds two months ago, accepted the honour at a ceremony in Rome on Wednesday.

The Gorbachev Foundation said it was for his dedication to promoting peace and condemning terrorism.

Past winners include Italian film director Roberto Benigni.

The award is given annually "to a distinguished personage of culture and entertainment for peace messages, fraternity and integration between nations".

Islam is chairman of Small Kindness, a charity aims to help families in troubled regions including Kosovo, Bosnia, Albania, Montenegro and Iraq.

In September, he was barred entry to the US on "security grounds" after his name appeared on a terrorism "watch list". Islam denies supporting terrorism.

As Cat Stevens, he became known during the 1970s for hits including Wild World and Morning Has Broken.

But he turned his back on his career in 1977, when he coverted to Islam.

In recent years, however, he has returned to performing, and has recorded a version of his 1970 song Father And Son with singer Ronan Keating, which is due for release in the UK before Christmas.

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