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Peter Brian Gabriel (born 13 February 1950) is an English singer-songwriter, record producer and humanitarian who rose to fame as the original lead singer and flautist of the progressive rock band Genesis.[1] After leaving Genesis in 1975,[7][8] Gabriel launched a successful solo career with "Solsbury Hill" as his first single. His 1986 album, So, is his best-selling release and is certified triple platinum in the UK and five times platinum in the U.S.[9][10] The album's most successful single, "Sledgehammer", won a record nine MTV Awards at the 1987 MTV Video Music Awards and is MTV's most played music video of all time.[11]

Gabriel has been a champion of world music for much of his career. He co-founded the WOMAD festival in 1982.[12] He has continued to focus on producing and promoting world music through his Real World Recordslabel. He has also pioneered digital distribution methods for music, co-founding OD2, one of the first online music download services.[13] Gabriel has also been involved in numerous humanitarian efforts. In 1980, he released the anti-apartheid single "Biko".[12] He has participated in several human rights benefit concerts, including Amnesty International's Human Rights Now! tour in 1988, and co-founded the Witness human rights organisation in 1992.[12]Gabriel developed The Elders with Richard Branson, which was launched by Nelson Mandela in 2007.[14]

Gabriel has won three Brit Awards—winning Best British Male in 1987,[15] six Grammy Awards,[16] thirteen MTV Video Music Awards, the first Pioneer Award at the BT Digital Music Awards,[17] the Q magazine Lifetime Achievement,[18] the Ivor Novello Award for Lifetime Achievement,[19] and the Polar Music Prize.[20] He was made a BMI Icon at the 57th annual BMI London Awards for his "influence on generations of music makers".[21]

In recognition of his many years of human rights activism, he received the Man of Peace award from the Nobel Peace Prize laureates,[22] and Time magazine named him one of the 100 most influential people in the world.[23]AllMusic has described Gabriel as "one of rock's most ambitious, innovative musicians, as well as one of its most political".[24] He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Genesis in 2010,[25] followed by his induction as a solo artist in 2014.[26] In March 2015, he was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of South Australia in recognition of his achievements in music.