Gabriel co-founded the WOMAD festival in 1982. He has continued to focus on producing and promoting world music through his Real World Records label. He has also pioneered digital distribution methods for music, co-founding OD2, one of the first online music download services. Gabriel has been involved in numerous humanitarian efforts. In 1980, he released the anti-apartheid single "Biko". He participated in Amnesty International's Human Rights Now! tour in 1988 and co-founded the Witness human rights organization in 1992.
Gabriel has won numerous music awards throughout his career, including three Brit Awardsâ€”winning Best British Male in 1987, six Grammy Awards, thirteen MTV Video Music Awards, the first Pioneer Award at the BT Digital Music Awards, and in 2007 he was honoured as a BMI Icon at the 57th annual BMI London Awards for his "influence on generations of music makers". In recognition of his many years of human rights activism, he received the Man of Peace award from the Nobel Peace Prize Laureates in 2006, and in 2008, TIME magazine named Gabriel one of the 100 most influential people in the world. Gabriel was also awarded the Ivor Novello Award for Lifetime Achievement in 2007, and the Polar Music Prize in 2009.
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