Happy birthday, Peter Tosh! Things you should know about the reggae legend

Reggae singer Peter Tosh would have celebrated his 76th birthday today, October 19. And although he passed away decades ago, many Jamaicans and fans around the world continue to celebrate the life and legacy of the entertainer.

Reggae singer Peter Tosh

To remember Tosh on his birthday, BUZZ has curated some facts about the entertainer that we thought you should know.

  • Peter Tosh was born in Westmoreland on October 19, 1944, but he moved to Trench Town, Kingston, when he was 16.
  • A lover of instruments, he built his first guitar from a sardine can.
  • Although he later became a Rastafarian, Tosh started to sing in church. That’s where he also learnt how to play the organ.
  • With Joe Higgs as their mentor, Peter Tosh, Bob Marley, Bunny ‘Wailer’ Livingston and Junior Braithwaite started performing together, eventually releasing their first song, Simmer Down, as The Wailing Wailers in 1963. The group was renamed The Wailers in 1964.
  • In 1973, Tosh was in a major car crash that killed his then-girlfriend. His skull was fractured in the incident.
  • Tosh left The Wailers in 1974. His first solo album, Legalize It, went Platinum in 1976. He would go on to release several albums, including Equal Rights, Mama Africa, Wanted Dread & Alive and No Nuclear War.
  • December 16, 1978 was a big day for Tosh as that’s when he performed with Mick Jagger on Saturday Night Live.
  • A day many people will never forget is September 11, 1987. Tosh died on that day. It is said that his acquaintance, Dennis Lobban, and other gunmen entered his home and shot him and other houseguests in the head.
  • In 1988, he posthumously won the Grammy Award for Best Reggae Recording for No Nuclear War, his last album.