London – Pop singer Peter Gabriel has been honored with the Music Industry Trusts’ Award. Those paying tribute to Gabriel, who began his career with Genesis before becoming a successful solo artist, included U2’s Bono, R.E.M.’s Michael Stipe and film director Martin Scorsese.
Gabriel, 54, received his award Monday in a ceremony at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel. It was presented by Richard Branson, who signed Gabriel to his then-label Virgin Records in the 1970s.
The honorary award is given each year to an artist who has made an outstanding contribution to the British music industry. Previous recipients include Elton John and Beatles’ producer George Martin.
Senegalese singer Youssou N’Dour, one of Gabriel’s longtime collaborators, performed at the ceremony, which raised money for Nordoff Robbins Music Therapy and the Brit Trust.
Stars from the film and music world sent video messages of congratulation.
In his, Stipe said: “I’m proud to be on the Earth at the same time as you are. If anyone deserves this award, it’s you.”
Bono credited Gabriel with being the “spark” to U2’s career.
Gabriel fronted Genesis until 1975, when he was replaced by Phil Collins
, who also sent a message to Monday night’s ceremony.
In 1977, Gabriel embarked on a solo career with hits including “Sledgehammer” and “Don’t Give Up.”
A passionate supporter of international music, he established the Womad festival and wrote the anti-apartheid anthem “Biko.”
Gabriel also has established a successful career writing film scores and songs, including those for Scorsese’s “The Last Temptation of Christ” and “Gangs of New York.”