He is a drummer and singer-songwriter born Philip David Charles Collins in Chiswick, London. He started playing drums from the age of five when he was given a set for Christmas and as he got older and more proficient he received more and more to make up a larger set.
He went to the Barbara Speak Stage School from the age of 14, starting his career as an actor and a model. He won the role of The Artful Dodger in Oliver in a London production as well as appearing as an extra in the crowd scene in The Beatles’ A Hard Da’ys Night.
He formed a band called The Real Thing and then joined the group Freehold when he wrote his first song “Lying, Crying, Dying”. He joined Flaming Youth for his first record deal but the band dissolved after a year.
In 1970 he answered an advert in the magazine Melody Maker for a drummer for the band Genesis . He had his audition at Peter Gabriel’s parents’ house and was hired. He remained their drummer and back-up vocalist for 5 years before Peter Gabriel left the band and, after much thought, he was given the role of lead vocals, although he still drummed in instrumentals. He co-wrote many of Genesis’ songs with Mike Rutherford and Tony Banks .
In 1975 he was also member of the band Brand X. He conducted his solo career alongside working with Genesis in the 1980s and released his first album Face Value in 1981 which he followed with Hello, I Must Be Going. During this time he also appeared as an actor in TV and film including an episode of Miami Vice and the movie Buster which gave him the No.1 hit “Groovy Kind of Love”. He finally left the band in 1996 to concentrate on his successful solo career.
He has worked with many artists including Frida (Anna-Frid from ABBA), Phil Bailey, Sting, Howard Jones, Peter Gabriel , Robert Plant, Tina Turner and Eric Clapton. In the Live Aid concert of 1985 he managed to be a featured artist in Wembley Stadium in London and JFK Stadium in Philadelphia by way of a Concorde flight between the two cities. In 1996 he formed the Phil Collins Big Band with the band performing jazz renditions of Genesis’ and his own recordings.
He has been married three times and has three children. He is a supporter of animal rights and the organization PETA (People for the Ethical Rights of Animals). He has won an Academy Award for the song “You’ll Be in My Heart” from Tarzan and a Grammy for the album No Jacket Required and Atlantic Records have said that as of 2002 he had sold over 100 million albums.
In 2006 he reunited with Genesis and toured with them worldwide in 2007 for their Turn It On Again: The Tour. Also in 2007 Genesis were honoured at the VH1 Rock Honors. He released his solo album Going Back in 2010, managing to plays the drums on it after spinal surgery, which topped the UK album charts and he performed six concerts using the music from the album. Also in 2010 he was an inductee, with the other members of Genesis, into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
In 2011 he announced his retirement and in July of the following year his …Hits got to No. 6 on the Billboard 200 after it had re-entered the chart. In 2016 his eight solo albums were re-issued and remastered with unreleased material and he also released his autobiography Not Dead Yet. When he came out of retirement his announcement of a Not Dead Yet mini tour in 2017 saw the tickets for the five concerts in the Royal Albert Hall selling out in 15 seconds and the Hyde Park venue being his largest solo show to date.
Peter Gabriel recordings
Games without Frontiers (Peter Gabriel)
Ballad of Big (Tony Banks/Phil Collins/Mike Rutherford )
Behind the Lines Part II (Tony Banks/Phil Collins/Mike Rutherford )
Follow You, Follow Me (Tony Banks/Phil Collins/Mike Rutherford )
Me and Virgil *(Tony Banks/Phil Collins/Mike Rutherford )
Paperlate* (Phil Collins/Tony Banks/Mike Rutherford )
Turn It On Again (Tony Banks/Phil Collins/Mike Rutherford )
You Might Recall * (Tony Banks/Phil Collins/Mike Rutherford )
Here he is singing his “I Don’t Care Anymore”…