Peter Gabriel has evolved with the times musically and spriritually from his early days with Genesis to his present solo career. His music and lyrics can be deeply personal, exploring inner pyschology, and at the same time, as a pioneer of word music, he demonstrates the connections we all have with one another across the globe.
As a former member of Peter's band, I got to see up close his commitment to protecting prisoners of conscience. Simultaneously bringing world music to international awareness he changed our perceptions of art and politics on our planet. By shining a bright light on previously little-known arts and music, and the same light on evil that should be brought out of the shadows, Peter has changed our world.
Brought social awareness and responsibility into vogue through his music (ie. Biko), his work with world music bands, his participation in Amnesty, and so on. The guy is just a social leader that everyone feels a push to get behind.
Diversity and social consciousness have been part of his music and makes it unique.
His music woke me and many in my generation up to the knowledge that we are all connected and impacted by what we do to and for each other. Biko, Family Snapshot, Games without Frontiers, San Jacinto, I have the touch, et al.
Prog rock legend, most didn't know Steven Biko until Peter Gabriel sang about him. Through his WOMAD label, he introduced the world to artists like Yungchen Lhamo, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Youssou N'dour and countless other international artists which would never have made it into the mainstream without Gabriel. His humanitarian work with Amnesty International was unprecedented by any other musician at the time. He won the 2006 "Man of Peace" award by the Nobel Laureate. "Passion," "Wall-e," etc.