15 Rock & Roll Rebels

For these 15 revolutionaries, the only place to be was on the outside looking in.

Peter Tosh

Peter Tosh poses  in Westmoreland, Jamaica circa 1975.
Lee Jaffe/Getty Images

Bob Marley sang "Rebel Music," but the real rebel in the Wailers was the late, towering Peter Tosh. "Get up, stand up/Stand up for your rights": That universally recognized chant was co-written by Tosh. He had a unique way with language – in his world, an oppressor was a "downpressor," and when Island Records mogul Chris Blackwell declined to release Tosh's first solo album, the singer took to calling the Englishman who'd signed the group "Whiteworst." Tosh's beliefs were evident in the titles of his albums: "Equal Right," "No Nuclear War," "Legalize It." After advocating for the latter by lighting up a spliff onstage in front of government leaders in Jamaica, he was apprehended by police and beaten in custody. Never one to turn the other cheek, Tosh was murdered during a house robbery in 1987. "I'm like a stepping razor," he warned in one lyric. "I'm dangerous."

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