Cat Stevens reveals why he never took to the Live Aid stage

Yusuf/Cat Stevens has opened up on why he never took to the stage at Live Aid and said organisers were "probably right not to have me".

The singer-songwriter had been set to perform at the benefit concert in 1985.

However 72-year-old Stevens, who converted to Islam in 1977 and later went on a hiatus from music, said organisers were concerned when he turned up without his guitar and "conveniently I was left out of it".

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UNITED STATES - JANUARY 01: Photo of Cat STEVENS; posed, at A&M studio (Photo by Jim McCrary/Redferns)
UNITED STATES - JUNE 03: Photo of Cat Stevens (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
Cat Stevens leaves the stage at a concert in April 1974 in Copenhagen, Denmark. (Photo by Jorgen Angel/Redferns)
DENMARK - JANUARY 01: Photo of Cat STEVENS (Photo by Jorgen Angel/Redferns)
COPENHAGEN, DENMARK: Cat Stevens performs live on stage in Copenhagen, Denmark in 1974 (Photo by Jorgen Angel/Redferns)
UNITED STATES - JANUARY 01: Photo of Cat STEVENS (Photo by Richard E. Aaron/Redferns)
Cat Stevens, portrait, London, March 1974. (Photo by Michael Putland/Getty Images)
British singer Cat Stevens, right, who converted into Islam and changed his name to Yusuf Islam, prays in the main mosque in Sarajevo Friday, Jan. 24, 1997. The singer will stay in the war-battered Bosnian capital for a few days and is scheduled to give a concert later Friday. (AP Photo/Hidajet Delic)
Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens sings during a national remembrance service in Hagley Park for the victims of the March 15 mosque terrorist attack in Christchurch, New Zealand, Friday, March 29, 2019. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 22: Yusef Islam, formerly known as Cat Stevens, spotted arriving at AOL Build in surrounded by bodyguards where he talked about his album 'The Laughing Apple Review' in New York, New York on September 22 , 2017. Photo Credit: Rainmaker Photo/MediaPunch/IPX
Musician Yusuf Cat Stevens performs at the 2016 Global Citizen Festival in Central Park on Saturday, Sept. 24, 2016, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)
LONDON, UK - 1975: Yusuf Islam, commonly known by his former stage name Cat Stevens, is a Greek-British singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, humanitarian and education philanthropist. His early 1970s albums Tea for the Tillerman and Teaser and the Firecat were both certified triple platinum in the United States. Stevens converted to Islam in December 1977 and adopted the name Yusuf Islam the following year. In 1979, he auctioned all his guitars for charity. (Photo by George Wilkes/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Yusuf Islam, previously Cat Stevens, performs during a soundcheck for his concert at the Bercy Palace, in Paris, Thursday, May 26, 2011. The show marks Yusuf's first concert in Paris in more than 36 years. (AP Photo/Bob Edme)
Folk artist Yusuf (formerly Cat Stevens) performs during comedians Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert's Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear on the National Mall in Washington, Saturday, Oct. 30, 2010. The "sanity" rally blending laughs and political activism drew thousands to the mall with Stewart and Colbert casting themselves as the unlikely maestros of moderation and civility in polarized times.(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
Yusuf Islam, previously Cat Stevens, right, performs during a sound check for his concert at the Bercy Palace, in Paris, Thursday, May 26, 2011. The show marks Yusuf's first concert in Paris in more than 36 years. (AP Photo/Bob Edme)
Folk artist Yusuf (formerly Cat Stevens), left, and comedian Jon Stewart perform during the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear on the National Mall in Washington, Saturday, Oct. 30, 2010. The "sanity" rally blending laughs and political activism drew thousands to the mall with Stewart and comedian Stephen Colbert casting themselves as the unlikely maestros of moderation and civility in polarized times.(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
Musician Yusuf Cat Stevens performs at the 2016 Global Citizen Festival in Central Park on Saturday, Sept. 24, 2016, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)
Yusuf Islam, formerly known as recording artist Cat Stevens, delivers a speech about his life during a symposium on modern Islamic culture in the United Kingdom, in London, Monday Nov. 14, 2005. Born Steven Dimitri Georgiou, he was known as Cat Stevens during his solo recording career in the 1960s and 1970s untill 1977, when he walked away from the music business shortly after converting to Islam, legally changed his name to Yusuf Islam, began a family and established the U.N.-registered charity Small Kindness. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
**FILE**Singer Yusuf Islam, formerly known as Cat Stevens, performs during a fund-raising concert for tsunami victims in Jakarta, Indonesia in this Jan. 31, 2005 file photo. Islam, will be among the performers at this year's Nobel Peace Prize Concert, promoters said. (AP Photo/Achmad Ibrahim-File)
Yusuf Islam, the singer formerly known as Cat Stevens, tours the tsunami devastated neighborhoods of Banda Aceh, Indonesia, Saturday, Jan. 29, 2005. Islam has composed a new song, "Indian Ocean," in response to the disaster and recently recorded it with musicians including A.R. Rahman, the prolific Indian composer/producer, Magne Furuholmen of A-Ha fame, and Travis drummer Neil Primrose. It will be released in February to raise money for children orphaned by the earthquake. The man at right is unidentified. (AP Photo/Firdia Lisnawati)
Yusuf Islam headshot, singer formerly known as Cat Stevens, graphic element on black
LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 03: Yusuf/Cat Stevens performs on stage during Music For The Marsden 2020 at The O2 Arena on March 03, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 03: Yusuf / Cat Stevens performs at the Music For Marsden 2020 at The O2 Arena on March 3, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Neil Lupin/Redferns)
(GERMANY OUT) Cat Stevens (bürgerlich: Steven Demetri Georgiou) - Musiker, Sänger; Grossbritannien, Auftritt in der Stadthalle Bremen (Photo by Hans G. Lehmann/ullstein bild via Getty Images)
FRANCE - OCTOBER 01: Cat Stevens in Paris, France on October, 1978 (Photo by Michel GINFRAY/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - JUNE 03: Photo of Cat Stevens (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - JUNE 03: Photo of Cat Stevens (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - JUNE 03: Photo of Cat Stevens (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
Cat Stevens performs on stage in April 1974 in Copenhagen, Denmark. (Photo by Jorgen Angel/Redferns)
383532 02: British singer Cat Stevens rubs his temples April, 1974 in Paris, France. Cat Stevens, who was born Steven Demetre Georgiou and later changed his name to Yusuf Islam, established himself as one of the most influential singers of the 1970s. (Photo by Liaison)
English singer-songwriter Cat Stevens (later Yusuf Islam), March 1974. (Photo by Michael Putland/Getty Images)
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Speaking to the Radio Times, he said: "I turned up without my guitar and I think they were a bit worried about what I might do. Elton over-ran a bit and conveniently I was left out of it. I didn't mind. I felt that was a sign to exit and that's what I did for many years."

Stevens, who goes by the name Yusuf Islam, also revealed he planned on reading a poem on stage at Live Aid.

He said he was not concerned by the potential career boost performing at such a high-profile event would bring, saying "I was on my way out of music at the time".

Stevens said: "I was going to read a poem. It was a good poem but I think they were probably right not to have me. They made the right decision."

Read the full interview in the Radio Times.

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