Stevens enjoyed his newfound fame around this time a little too much; he got tuberculosis in 1968 and had to shut down for about nine months. When he returned to action, it was with a more expansive worldview and an insatiable curiosity that led to songs about nature and the meaning of life. It killed in America, where his Tea For The Tillerman
album was huge in 1971, putting him in the same ranks as acclaimed young singer-songwriters like James Taylor and Carole King.
Stevens spiritual quest led him to Islam in 1977, when he embraced the faith and changed his name to Yusuf Islam. He didn't make any more pop music, but after a while he did start performing his old hits like "Peace Train
" and "Moonshadow
." But he stayed away from "I'm Gonna Get Me A Gun."