Subscribe for all my updates and don't miss a thing! Sign me up!

Peter Tosh
A Reggae Music Pioneer

Sharing Is Caring! Share this awesome content with your friends now.


New! See the real Jamaica in VIDEOS!
Click Here and see why over 140,000 fans are raving about my YouTube Channel!

peter_tosh.jpgPeter Tosh | A Reggae Music Pioneer

By Venesha Johnson | Associate Writer

In our vibrant world of Jamaican reggae music, few artists have left a mark as incredible as Peter Tosh. From Being part of one of the biggest groups to going solo, he was a trailblazing musician, staunch activist for equal rights and justice, and a vocal advocate for the Rastafari movement, Peter Tosh's life and legacy inspires many of us.

New! Ready To Visit Jamaica?

Join countless of travelers who have already unlocked the secrets to experiencing Jamaica on a budget. Click Here and find out how.

And, if you ever need a trustworthy, friendly and knowledgeable local guide, consider booking a private tour with us!

Born Winston Hubert McIntosh on October 19, 1944, he grew up in rural Jamaica and faced many of the typical struggles that children from less fortunate backgrounds in Jamaica would, including being abandoned by his parents and going from relative to relative.

He found solace in music from a young age and quickly developed a passion for singing and playing guitar. In the early 1960s, Tosh befriended Bob Marley and Bunny Wailer, and together they formed The Wailers.

The trio's unique vocal harmonies and a blend of ska, rocksteady, and reggae laid the foundation for what would become one of the most influential musical movements in our history.

The Wailers' journey to stardom was not without obstacles. Their early recordings faced resistance from the mainstream music industry, but undeterred, they pressed on, gaining a loyal following within the local scene here in Jamaica. With songs like "Simmer Down" and "Trenchtown Rock," they spoke directly to the struggles of the Jamaican people, resonating deeply with the marginalized and oppressed.

However, in 1974, Peter Tosh decided to embark on a solo career, leaving The Wailers to pursue his artistic vision. His solo debut album, "Legalize It," released in 1976, proved him to be a formidable artist and a fearless advocate for the legalization of marijuana, a cause he would champion throughout his life.

His music was deeply intertwined with his activism. As a devout Rastafarian, he used his platform to promote the Rastafari movement and its principles of equality, unity, and African pride. His song "Equal Rights" became an anthem for human rights and a demand for justice. 

As his solo career blossomed, Peter Tosh gained international recognition and embarked on successful tours around the world. His collaborations with prominent musicians like Mick Jagger brought reggae to a broader audience and solidified his place in music history. Tosh's albums "Equal Rights" (1977) and "Bush Doctor" (1978) were critically acclaimed and further cemented his reputation as a reggae icon.

Peter Tosh's discography is filled with iconic songs that showcase his musical talent, powerful messages, and distinctive voice that we still play today. Here are some of his top songs.

  1. "Legalize It" - The title track from his debut solo album, this song is an anthem for the legalization of marijuana and remains one of Tosh's most famous songs.
  2. “Equal Rights" - A powerful and poignant song advocating for equal rights and justice for all, regardless of race, creed, or nationality.
  3. "Get Up, Stand Up" - Co-written with Bob Marley, this song became an anthem for human rights and has been covered by numerous artists across genres.
  4. "Stepping Razor" - This track reflects Tosh's uncompromising and fierce persona, warning those who cross him that he is as sharp as a "stepping razor."
  5.  "African" - An uplifting and celebratory song that pays homage to African heritage and encourages unity and pride among people of African descent.
  6. "Mama Africa"- A heartfelt tribute to the African continent and its people, emphasizing the importance of recognizing and honouring one's roots.
  7. "Johnny B. Goode" - Tosh's cover of the Chuck Berry classic showcases his ability to infuse reggae with rock elements, resulting in a unique and energetic rendition.
  8. "Bush Doctor"- The title track from his 1978 album, this song addresses the need for a "Bush Doctor" (a term for a healer) to bring relief to those suffering from societal ailments.
  9. "Coming in Hot" - A catchy and infectious track that urges people to live life to the fullest and embrace the present moment.
  10. "I Am That I Am" - An introspective and spiritual song that reflects Tosh's Rastafarian beliefs and the importance of self-awareness.

Despite his success, Tosh faced personal struggles and was the victim of violence and intimidation. On September 11, 1987, his life was tragically cut short when he was fatally shot during an invasion of his home. The reggae community mourned the loss of one of its greatest voices, but Tosh's legacy endured and continued to inspire future generations of artists and activists.

His impact on music, social activism, and the Rastafari movement is immeasurable, especially here in Jamaica. He fearlessly used his art to address injustice, inequality, and the struggles faced by the marginalized, and he remained a voice for the voiceless until his untimely death. Through his music, Tosh continues to inspire individuals to stand up against oppression and fight for a world where everyone can live with equal rights and dignity.

You might like these

Sharing IS Caring! Please help me get the message out by sharing this article with your friends on social media (links below). Thnx ;-)

If you found this page useful, please consider subscribing to my weekly newsletter, to get even more

It tells you each week about the new information that I have added, including new developments and great stories from lovers of Jamaica! 

Return to Jamaican Reggae Icons of the 80s and 90s from Peter Tosh 
Return to My Island Jamaica Homepage from Peter Tosh

References & Sources For Peter Tosh

  1. Peter Tosh | Reggae musician, Rastafarian, Wailers. (n.d.). Encyclopedia Britannica.
  2. Peter Tosh Biography, Songs, & Albums | AllMusic. (n.d.). AllMusic.
Back To The Top Of This Page

New! Get My Latest Book👇🏿


You asked, I've answered! You no longer need to save for months or years, to enjoy paradise!

JAMAICA On A Budget is your passport to experiencing what I call 'The Real Jamaica' on a budget!

I spilled the beans! sharing my top tips on finding cozy accommodations and secret gems, only the way a native could! Click Here to pick it up on my e-store and start saving now!

See The Best Of Jamaica - In Videos!


My channel reaches over 140,000 subscribers worldwide and has leveraged over 11 million views, sharing, what I call 'The Real Jamaica'. Subscribe today and join our family of viewers.


Read More ...

New! Comments

Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.

New! Experience The REAL Jamaica!
Book Your Private Tour here and experience Jamaica the way we (locals) do!

P.S. Didn't find what you were looking for? 
Still need help?

Click Here to try our dependable and effective Site Search tool. It works!

Or, simply click here and here, to browse my library of over 500 questions and answers! Chances are someone already asked (and got an answer to) your question.

Back To The Top Of This Page

Like My Site? Please Click Here To Share It With Your Friends

Home   |   JOIN US   |   Site Search   |   Have Your Say   |   Archives   |   Old Archives   |   Contact   |   Disclaimer   |   TIP ME!   |   Link To Us

Do like I did! Share your passion
(about your city, hobby or experience) and make a living from it. Click Here to see how

By Wellesley Gayle   |   Copyright © 2007-2023   |   All rights Reserved.   |   Privacy Policy