Peter Dennis Blandford Townshend was born in Chiswick, London (UK) on 19 May 1945. His grandmother Emma purchased his first guitar for Christmas in 1956, an inexpensive Spanish model. He was largely self-taught and never learned to read music. Townshend and school friend John Entwistle formed a short-lived trad jazz group, the Confederates, featuring Townshend on banjo and Entwistle on horns. They went on to form the Detours and then The Who in 1964. It was this band that would become one of the most influential bands of the 20th century.

Townshend is the main songwriter for The Who, having written well over 100 songs for the band’s 11 studio albums, including concept albums and the rock operas Tommy and Quadrophenia. Although known primarily as a guitarist, he also played keyboards, banjo, accordion, harmonica, ukulele, mandolin, violin, synthesiser, bass guitar, and drums, on his own solo albums, several Who albums and as a guest contributor to an array of other artists’ recordings.

Townshend joined Kate in providing backing vocals for the Leslie Duncan song Sing Children Sing. Shortly after that, Townshend played guitar in the all-star backing band for Kate’s performance of the song The Wedding List at the Prince’s Trust Rock Gala concert.