Known as one of the greatest reggae artists to ever grab the mic, Peter Tosh is finally getting his just due. Today, the Peter Tosh Museum opened at the Pulse Centre in Kingston, Jamaica, on what would have been the musician’s 72nd birthday.
Born Winston Hubert McIntosh on October 19, 1944, Peter Tosh moved to Trench Town in 1959 where he would eventually link up with Bob Marley and Bunny “Wailer” Livingston to form the Wailers, one of the genre’s most popular and influential bands. Tosh would go on to pen several of the Wailers’ iconic hits, including “Get Up, Stand Up”, “No Sympathy,” and “400 Years.”
Despite writing many of the group’s hits, Tosh left the Wailers in the mid-1970s to work on his solo career, and in 1976 he released Legalize It, which quickly became a rallying cry to legalize marijuana. In 1978, Tosh hooked up with the Rolling Stones and released Bush Doctor on the group’s record label. He also recorded a duet with Mick Jagger–“Walk (And Don’t Look Back)”–which would cement his place as one of the most popular reggae artists of his time.
On September 11, 1987, at the height of his career, Tosh was accosted by a group of gunmen in his home who attempted to rob him. After telling him he didn’t have any money, the men tortured the singer before fatally shooting him hours later and injuring several others.
An artist and outspoken activist, Tosh was posthumously awarded Jamaica’s highest honor, the Order of Merit, in 2012. Now, locals and tourists alike can learn about his life and legacy at the Peter Tosh Museum in Kingston, Jamaica.
A press release from the Pulse Centre previewed what visitors can expect from the museum.
“Visitors will also be able to relive aspects of the non-conformist, futuristic and abundantly creative Tosh experience, through sizzling audio and video recordings featuring the superstar, as well as iconic artifacts, including his M16 guitar and beloved unicycle that became one of his favorite means of transportation. Also available will be exclusive merchandise for sale to the public.”
Despite Tosh’s influence, artistry, and talent, he was often overshadowed by the Wailers’ other front man, Bob Marley. Now that he’s getting his own museum, his widow, Marlene Brown (who was also gravely injured in the 1987 attack), said his nation is finally giving the musical legend his proper due.
“A lot of people have gotten honored for less in Jamaica and Peter is somewhat forgotten,” Marlene Brown told the Associated Press. “That made me work harder to see that he got what he deserves.”
Watch a rare interview with Peter Tosh where he discusses competing with Bob Marley.
Visit PeterTosh.com to learn more about the new museum.
Britni Danielle is the Entertainment/Culture Director for EBONY. Follow her on Twitter @BritniDWrites.