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15 février 2006

Peter Gabriel to receive the Frankfurt Music Prize 2006

Presentation on the occasion of the international Musikmesse

Almost everyone is familiar with his legendary hits, such as 'Sledgehammer', 'Biko' and 'Big Time', and his videos are considered to be milestones in the history of pop culture: Peter Gabriel, rock musician, songwriter and video artist, will be awarded the 2006 Frankfurt Music Prize during the international Musikmesse.

He was singled out for the prize because, with his creative work, his appearances and his support for young talents, he laid a vital founda-tion stone for the future of rock and pop music. With this choice, the jury is honouring him as a leading musician on the European rock-music scene, for his musical achievements and his artistic and social activities. The prize will be presented by the Mayor of Frankfurt am Main, Petra Roth, at a ceremony in Frankfurt on the eve of the Musikmesse (28 March).

Peter Brian Gabriel was born in Great Britain in 1950, the son of an electrical engineer. In 1966, together with Tony Banks, Michael Rutherford and Anthony Phillips, he founded a band called 'The Garden Wall', which was soon renamed 'Genesis'. Later, they were joined by drummer Phil Collins. The band achieved a break through with its fourth album, and were known for their song-based progressive rock music and the theatrically staged live shows, which were primarily the work of Peter Gabriel and his fascination for visual interpretation.

In 1975, Gabriel announced that he was leaving the band and published his first solo album two years later. Gabriel was able to consolidate his career as a solo artist thanks to the successful single, 'Solsbury Hill'. Commercial success came with his third solo LP, which includes 'Biko', a political protest song that Gabriel dedicated to the South African anti-apartheid activist,
Steve Biko.

With his 1986 album, he demonstrated that social commitment and social involvement by no means contradict his existence as an avant-garde, modern music artist. His singles, 'Big Time' and 'Sledgehammer', were hits. And he produced videos such as the world had never seen before.

After touring the world for Amnesty in 1988, Peter became a human rights activist and set up an organisation called 'Witness', giving cameras to Human Rights groups around the world. He was awarded a Grammy for the soundtrack of the controversial Martin Scorsese film, 'Last Temptation of Christ'. Subsequently, Gabriel focused his attention on setting up his Real World Studios in the English county of Wiltshire, with the aim of offering unfettered creative opportunities for musicians of all different types of music from all over world.

It was not until 1992 that Gabriel reappeared on the musical radar screen, when he published his 'Us' album, which once again set new standards in the video world. Another album followed in September 2002 after a gap of almost ten years: 'Up'.

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