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Cat Stevens Reacts to Rock Hall Induction: ‘I Wasn’t Very Prepared’

Cat Stevens
Jo Hale, Getty Images

If the recent announcement of Cat Stevens‘ upcoming induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame caught you off guard, don’t worry — Stevens was just as surprised as anybody.

“How prepared can you be for something like that to happen?” admitted Stevens, who now goes by Yusuf Islam, in a new interview with Rolling Stone. “I wasn’t very prepared. But since it’s happened, it kind of tickled me quite a lot. It’s great to know there are people out there who appreciated my work. It’s great.”

Seemingly aware of his status as one of the many artists whose inclusion has provoked heated debate over what exactly constitutes “rock” and who deserves to be in the Hall, he good-naturedly shrugged off the question of whether or not his music fits under the rock ‘n’ roll umbrella. “Not quite,” he admitted. “That’s why I’m almost surprised by this award. But then again, it’s all kind of within the genre of things that changed the world. Rock ‘n’ roll certainly did that.”

He also proved he had a sense of humor about the prospect of sharing a stage at the traditional Hall of Fame jam with Kiss, quipping, “They’re a good looking group, I must admit. I’m not sure that I can compete.” All joking aside, however, Stevens sounded like he’d be willing to sit out the jam — simply because, as he put it, “Jamming has never been a favorite pastime of mine.”

“When I write, I write constructively with all the kind of resources that I have in my creative imaginings,” he explained. “And sometimes, on the spur of the moment, you can do something special. But I just don’t see myself holding hands with the lead singer of Kiss, that’s all.”

Next: Top 10 Cat Stevens Songs

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