Musicians Who Turned Their Backs On Their Religion

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People’s faith and beliefs about the universe, higher powers, and life after death are deeply personal. But sometimes, celebrities share their spiritual journeys with the world. Musicians, in particular, often express their faith transformations through their art. Here are some famous rock and pop stars who went through religious conversions and opened up about their experiences.



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Cat Stevens, known for hits like “Wild World” and “Moon Shadow,” found spiritual exploration while recovering from tuberculosis. Raised in a home following Eastern Orthodox Catholicism, he delved into Taoism, Hinduism, and Buddhism. By 1977, he embraced Islam, adopted the name Yusuf Islam, and shifted away from popular music to focus on his faith.



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Prince’s music touched on faith themes, and he was raised in the Seventh Day Adventist faith. In 2001, he converted to Jehovah’s Witness with conservative views, reevaluating song content and participating in door-to-door outreach.



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Folk-rocker Jim Croce embraced Judaism to marry his wife, an interfaith couple overcoming differences through understanding. This conversion played a role in shaping his personal life.




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Sinead O’Connor, known for her hit “Nothing Compares 2 U,” remained in the spotlight beyond her initial success. In 1992, she gained attention for tearing up a photo of Pope John Paul II on “Saturday Night Live,” addressing allegations of child abuse in the Catholic Church. O’Connor left the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland and joined the Tridentine movement, becoming a priest in that faith in 1999 under the name Magda Davitt. In 2018, she announced her conversion to Islam, practicing and studying the religion until her passing in 2023.



Bob Dylan’s journey went from Judaism to Christianity, with his album “Slow Train Coming” reflecting this shift. He later returned to Judaism, and his exploration influenced his songwriting.



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George Harrison’s spiritual journey took him to India, where he connected with Hinduism, adopting practices like meditation and mantra chanting. His exploration inspired his music, including his hit “My Sweet Lord.”


Megadeth’s Dave Mustaine, originally a Jehovah’s Witness, embraced Christianity as a born-again Christian after overcoming struggles with alcoholism. He found a new perspective on spirituality and life.



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From a young vaudeville performer to a successful crooner, actor, and part of Frank Sinatra’s “Rat Pack,” Sammy Davis Jr. had a dynamic career. Despite early fame, he searched for a faith system until his conversion to Judaism in 1954. Raised with a Baptist father and Catholic mother, he found a connection between the experiences of Jewish and Black people. His adoption of Judaism was solidified when he married actor May Britt in 1960, and she also converted.