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Collins, Phil (30th January 1951-Present)

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 Days 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 a 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.

In 2002 he released his album Testify which didn’t achieve the same amount of critical acclaim but the version of the song “Can’t Stop Loving You” did achieve the No. 1 spot on the Adult Contemporary Chart.  He followed the album release with a world tour.  Also in 2002 he performed drums with the house band in the concert for the Golden Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II.

He worked on the Broadway production of Tarzan in 2006 and later that same year he and the other members of Genesis announced the Turn It On Again: The Tour.  They toured Europe and North America in 2007.  They also performed at the VHI Rock Honors that year where they were paid tribute to.

In 2010 he released his album Going Back which consisted of many Motown covers and it entered the UK album chart at No. 4.  He promoted the album in six previous concerts and on an appearance on Later… With Jools Holland.  Later that year he and the other members of Genesis were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

In 2011 he announced his retirement but in 2013 he said that he had gone back to songwriting.  The next year the compilation …Hits was released and reached No. 6 on the Billboard Album chart.

In 2015 he signed with Warner Music Group for his eight solo albums to be remastered and include previously unreleased songs.  He also announced that he had come out of his retirement and in 2016 his remastered albums were released with a bonus disc of demos and live versions.

In October 2016 he published his autobiography Not Dead Yet and he followed that with his Not Dead Yet Tour of Europe starting in London in 2017.  His first five concerts held at the Royal Albert Hall sold out in 15 seconds and his biggest show was held in Hyde Park in London.

Winning multiple awards during his career, 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. Along with Michael Jackson and Sir Paul McCartney he is one of the three artists that hassold in excess of 100 million albums.

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).

Phil Collins recordings
You’ll Be In My Heart (Phil Collins)
Walt Disney Records 0100736DNY

Genesis Recordings
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 “In the Air Tonight”…