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Sami Yusuf

Sami Yusuf (born in July 1980) is a British-Muslim singer-songwriter. Yusuf's music consists mostly of songs relating to Islam and being a Muslim in today's rapidly changing world. He also deals with many social and humanitarian issues in his music. He is fast becoming a very popular figure in the Islamic world, having made videos for several of his tracks. According to The Guardian, he "is perhaps the most famous British Muslim in the world". In 2006, Time Magazine called him "Islam's biggest rock star", while BBC has dubbed him as "the King of Muslim pop".

An ethnic Azeri born in Tehran, Yusuf was raised in London from the age of three.[2] At the age of 16, he became active in Islam. Although Yusuf grew up in a musical family, he considered pursuing a career in law before a friend convinced him otherwise. He studied music at the Royal Academy and Salford University. Yusuf has been officially awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Roehampton University in South-West London in recognition of his contribution to Music[7].

According to one Egyptian source, Sami Yusuf’s songs have revolutionized the nasheed industry and have given birth to a new genre of modern Islamic music.[8] In July 2009, he was awarded an honorary doctorate by Roehampton University for "extraordinary contribution to fields including ... music".[9]
[edit]2003-2009: First albums with awakening
Yusuf's first album Al-Mu'allim was self-produced and released in July 2003 and attained success. His second album, My Ummah, which was released in 2005, comes in two versions, a musical version and one with just percussion. He creates many of his songs in different languages mainly in English, Arabic, Persian, Turkish, Azeri and Urdu. He has held concerts all around the world and his albums are mainly popular among young Muslims, in particular Turkey, where his concert gathered up to 250,000 people, at Istanbul in 2007.[10]
[edit]Disputed third album and departure from Awakening
A third album, Without You, was planned for release during mid-2008 but was delayed due to a contractual dispute.[11] An album by that name was then launched by Awakening Records in January 2009.[11] Sami Yusuf subsequently stated on his official website that this album was released without his knowledge or consent, and is a compilation of demos and sketches with a quality inferior to his normally high standards. He has called for fans to boycott it.[12][13] However as of April 2009 Awakening Records continues to feature the album prominently on the Sami Yusuf part of its website,[14] saying that the album is "a complete and high quality album" consisting of "11 professionally recorded tracks".[11] Awakening says it has already made "substantial" payments to Yusuf for his third album, which has been advertised on its website since May 2008.[11] Yusuf had previously released two albums with Awakening, and signed for a total of five.[11] Asked whether Awakening had paid him in full in July 2009, Yusuf indicated they had not.[15] The album Without You is now no longer available for purchase at AwakeningStore.[16]
[edit]2009 - present: ETM International
Following the dispute with Awakening, Yusuf moved to the ETM International record company and signed a five-album contract. ETM International is a British record label with a branch in Dubai.[17]
[edit]Wherever You Are
Sami Yusuf has announced a new album called Wherever You Are. Yusuf stated: "After many years wondering and searching for inspiration; battling and overcoming loss hurt and betrayal; I am happy to say that my—long overdue—album is finally finished and out soon God-willing. It has been 5 years since my last official album... I can honestly say from the bottom of my heart, this is my finest work to date simply because you were all part of the whole creative process. You have inspired me more than you can imagine. Every single track on this album is deeply personal to me. God Bless you all and thank you for your incredible patience and support. Stay tuned :)" He announced the track listing in summer 2010.[18]
[edit]Charity work
Yusuf is active in charity work. In October 2007, Yusuf travelled to Sudan and visited a Sudanese orphanage as part of support mission to raise awareness for sick children and AIDS victims in the region. Yusuf urged prayers for peace, recovery and donations through the Muslims to contact their local charities.[19] This was after performing at Wembley Stadium where all profits went to Islamic Relief to help the crisis in Darfur.[20] During his South Africa tour in October 2008, Yusuf took the time to visit and help cheer up the children at The Agape Children’s Orphanage.[21] He travelled to Turkey in January 2009, where he was invited by HE Emine Erdoğan, wife of the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, to attend a rally in support of peace in Gaza.[22] In February of that year, Yusuf took part in a Telethon to raise money for the victims of Gaza. The telethon took place in Doha, Qatar on 31 January 2009 in conjunction with The Al Fakhoora Campaign to raise money for the bereaved and destitute of Gaza. To date over $100 million has been raised.[23] On 22 August 2010, Sami Yusuf released a charity single "Hear Your Call" for the Pakistan flood relief effort.[24]

Label: Awakening
Released: July 2003
Total Sales: More than 2 million[25]
Singles: "Al-Mu'allim" and "Supplication"
My Ummah
Label: Awakening
Released: September 2005
Total sales : More than 4 million [25]
Singles: "Hasbi Rabbi", "Mother" and "Munajat"
Without You (disputed)
Label: Awakening
Released: January 2009
Total sales : 3,350,000.[citation needed]
Singles: "Asma Allah"
Wherever You Are
Label: ETM International
Released: October 29, 2010 [26]
Total Sales : TBC
Singles : "You Came To Me", "Make Me Strong", "In Every Tear, He Is There" and "Healing"
Non-Album Singles
Forever Palestine (Genuine version)
Hear Your Call

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