On 26th March 2007 we published an article headlined "YUSUF ISLAM IGNORES BARE-HEADED WOMEN" which had been circulated to us by World Entertainment News Network.
The article suggested, entirely falsely, that the singer Yusuf Islam (formerly known as Cat Stevens) was so sexist and bigoted that he refused at an awards ceremony to talk to women who weren't wearing veils. The article went on, again falsely, to quote Mr Islam's manager as stating that Mr Islam would not speak with any women except his wife.
We now accept that these allegations (which were originally reported in B.Z, a German publication) are entirely without foundation, and that Mr Islam has never had any difficulties working with women, whether for religious or for any other reason. On the contrary, women feature among some of the most influential people in his core team.
We are happy to set the record straight, and wish to apologise unreservedly to Mr Islam for the distress caused by our article. Substantial compensation has been made to a charity of Mr Islams choice in recompense for this matter.
'Smalls Change (Meditations Upon Ageing)' arrives in April.
The two awards have made for a great 72nd birthday present for the country music icon.