Birthplace: Cobham, Surrey, England
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Executive summary: Former lead singer, Genesis
Peter Gabriel's music career began before he had even left school: along with classmates Tony Banks, Mike Rutherford and Anthony Phillips, he had put together a tape of songs that was brazenly submitted to then-hot producer Jonathan King. Improbably, King not only listened to the youngster's tape, but actually decided to take them under his wing, convinced in large part due to the appeal he found in Peter's voice. King christened the band Genesis and managed to get them signed to Decca, who released the album From Genesis to Revelation in 1968. The album, badly promoted, ended up in religious bins and quietly died.
It was Tony Stratton-Smith that next took interest in Peter and Genesis, signing them to his Charisma label. A series of records released from 1970 to 1975 found the band gradually developing a moderate but devoted cult following. Much of this popularity was due to Peter's visual presentation during their live performances: his outlandish masks and make-up earned then front-page status in the music press. By the time of 1975's The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, however, unworkable tensions had developed between Peter Gabriel and the rest of the band. The excessive amount of attention paid to his theatrics was generating a growing resentment from the other band members; but it was ultimately the conflict between fatherhood and the endless touring schedule that made Peter decide to leave Genesis behind.
In 1977 Peter began a solo career, drawing on a pool of musicians such as King Crimson guitarist Robert Fripp, bassist Tony Levin and drummer Jerry Marotta to create a succession of increasingly popular self-titled records. But it wasn't until 1985's So -- and in particular the R&B influenced single Sledgehammer -- that Peter hit the big time; at last catching up with the stadium-scale popularity that his former band had achieved shortly after his departure. Once again it was his visual presentation that was in large part responsible for his popularity -- this time displayed in his inventive and unusual music videos.
In subsequent years, Peter Gabriel's musical output has become more sporadic, his primary focus being directed towards multimedia projects, his label and studio Real World, and continuing work with the world arts foundation WOMAD, which he founded in 1980.
Wife: Jill Moore (m. 1971, div. 1987, two daughters)
Daughter: Anna (b. 1974)
Daughter: Melanie (b. 1976)
Wife: Meah Flynn (m. 2002)
Girlfriend: Rosanna Arquette (actress, cohabited 1992-98)
Girlfriend: Sinead O'Connor (musician)
High School: Charterhouse School, Godalming, Surrey, England
Genesis Vocalist (1967-75)
Institute for Policy Studies
Funeral: Nelson Mandela (2013)
Risk Factors: Bipolar Disorder
FILMOGRAPHY AS ACTOR
Under African Skies (22-Jan-2012) · Himself
Strange Powers: Stephin Merritt and the Magnetic Fields (10-Apr-2010) · Himself
Youssou Ndour: I Bring What I Love (6-Sep-2008) · Himself
Woodstock '94 (1995) · Himself
Secret World Live (1994) · Himself
New York Stories (1-Mar-1989) · Himself
The Secret Policeman's Third Ball (1987) · Himself
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