Peter Gabriel became famous worldwide as the lead singer of the band Genesis, which he left in the mid-1970s to launch a solo career. After several solo albums, the global bestseller So was released in 1986, which included the single “Sledgehammer.”
The video to “Sledgehammer” was ranked the best music video of all time by Rolling Stone magazine in 1993, confirming the ever-progressive spirit that Peter Gabriel lived through his music and his multimedia stage shows. One of these attention-grabbing projects was Ovo, a multimedia show for London’s Millennium Dome in the year 2000. That year, Peter Gabriel also launched an on-demand service for music in Europe, an innovative venture at the time.
Peter Gabriel has won six Grammys and receive several Oscar and Golden Globe nominations for film music he composed. He received the Polar Music Prize for lifetime achievement for redefining the concept of pop music. Among his successful projects which transcended typical music careers are the founding of WOMAD (World of Music, Arts and Dance), in which music, art and dance from various cultures are performed, as well as his own record label Real World Studios.
Already in the late 1970s, Peter Gabriel’s music was distinguished by its intellectual and political depth—a component of his life that has an effect beyond his artistic work. For example, in the early 1990s, Peter Gabriel founded the WITNESS organisation, which documents violations of human rights worldwide. For decades, he has also volunteered for Amnesty International. “First and foremost, I am a father and husband, then a musician, in that order. My activity as an occasional entrepreneur interested in technology comes third, and finally there’s my social engagement in various benefit projects,” Peter Gabriel said in an interview in 2011.