Cat Gets The Cream

Thirty years after ditching the Cat Stevens moniker and quitting his music career, Yusuf Islam was honored with a major award by the British Academy of Composers And Songwriters.

He received the Ivor Novello for Outstanding Song Collection for An Other Cup, his first album since changing his name and converting to Islam in 1978.

The May 24th bash at London’s Grosvenor House hotel honoured several artists with careers spanning three decades, including Madonna, Sir Elton John, Peter Gabriel and Quincy Jones.

Madge won international hit of the year for "Sorry," but only qualified for consideration because the "Brits only" gong was co-written with Stuart Price. Sir Elton received PRS Most Performed Work for "I Don’t Feel Like Dancin" (co-written with Scissor Sisters), Gabriel picked up the lifetime achievement award and Jones was given the "Special International Award."

The surprise among the awards won by younger writers was Wolverhampton-based folkie Scott Matthews taking song of the year for "Elusive," a minor key ballad that peaked at No. 56 in the charts.

The song was a favorite of Radio 1 DJs Jo Whiley and Zane Lowe. Matthews’ self-released debut album, Passing Stranger, became an iTunes hit, and now it may become an international hit.

The album award went to Arctic Monkeys for Whatever People Say I Am That’s What I’m Not and Amy Winehouse took best contemporary song for "Rehab." PRS Outstanding Contribution To British Music went to Norman Cook, and songwriter of the year went to The Feeling.