Pete Townshend

  • Birth Name: Peter Dennis Blandford Townshend
  • Birth Place: London, England
  • Profession: Musician
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Fast Facts

  • Introduced to music at an early age by his father (a professional saxophone player) and his mother (a singer).
  • Best known as the lead guitarist and principal songwriter for the legendary rock band the Who, which he cofounded in the early 1960s.
  • Struck outspoken activist Abbie Hoffman with his guitar when he disrupted the Who's set at Woodstock, an incident that wasn't captured on film since it occurred during a camera change.
  • Released his first solo album, Who Came First, in 1972. 
  • Participated in the iconic "I Want My MTV" advertising campaign in 1982. Other notable participants included Stevie Nicks, Mick Jagger, David Bowie and the Police.
  • Published a book of short stories titled Horse's Neck in 1985.
  • Ranked No. 50 on Rolling Stone's list of the 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time in 2003.
  • Awarded a Kennedy Center Honor in 2008 for his contribution to music.


  • 1975, Oscar — Best Achievement in Music (Scoring: Original Song Score and Adaptation -or- Scoring: Adaptation): Nominee
  • 1993, Grammy — Best Musical Show Album: Winner
  • 1993, Tony — Book (Musical): Nominee
  • 1993, Tony — Score (Musical): Winner


  • Rachel Fuller — Significant Other
  • Karen Astley — Ex-wife
  • Aminta Townshend — Daughter
  • Paul Townshend — Brother
  • Betty Townshend — Mother
  • Cliff Townshend — Father
  • Emma Townshend — Daughter
  • Joseph Townshend — Son
  • Simon Townshend — Brother
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