Phil Collins

Written by on September 8, 2020

Phil Collins was a musician, and was born in London, England Jan. 30, 1951. He was part of a family with three kids. His parents were Greville (insurance agent) and June Collins (talent agent).

Some of the things Collins is known for include writing romantic ballads, writing songs that have only three chords, being able to play very complicated drum music to include fast bass drum technique and he was able to play in many different time signatures.

He seems to have really loved drums as he is known for doing a gated reverberation with drums, as well as mixing live and drum machines with electric drums in his music recordings. Sadly he stopped playing drums in 2011 due to back problems.

Early Life

Even as young as five years old, he knew he loved music. His first instrument was a toy drum, and he finally got a real set of drums when he was twelve years old. The following year he showed his interest in acting as well as music, and took the part of the Artful Dodger in the play “Oliver.” Later on he was to have other stage roles, playing parts in the Beatles movie A Hard Day’s Night in 1964 as well as a bit part in the movie Chitty Chitty Bang Bang in 1969.

First Real Bands He Played In

His love for music continued in 1970 when he and some of his classmates created a band they called The Real Thing. That same year he joined up with another band called Genesis and became their drummer as well as sang backup. He spent the next five years with them on tours and they made five albums.

After that, he got the chance to be more noticed when Gabriel of Genesis left the group and Collins became its leader. Over the next few years he helped to shape the music they played and by 1978 the group have three members left. It was him, a guitar player named Mike Rutherford and a keyboard player named Tony Banks. Together they had their 1st hit in America called “And Then There Were Three,” which became a gold record, as well as “Follow you, Follow Me” and an album entitled Duke in 1980.

After he left Genesis the band did have one reunion in 1999. They rerecorded their song, “The Carpet Crawlers” and it was the first time they’d played together since 1982. The group got inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2010.

Another bank he worked with was called Brand X, which was a jazz group, as well as two other early bands called Freehold and Flaming Youth.

First Solo Works

In 1981 he started going solo, and his first recording as a solo was “Face Value.” The next ones he did were called, “You Can’t Hurry Love,” as well as “I Don’t Care Anymore.” Then in 1964 he wrote a song that was to get him a nomination for Golden Globe as well as for an Academy Award for Best Original Song for a song for the movie Against All Odds, so his career was definitely hot during these years. To continue the streak he had another solo in 1985 called “Invisible Touch.” He did actually win an Academy Award in 1999 with a song entitled, “You’ll be in My Heart,” which came from the movie Tarzan.

More Success on The Stage

He didn’t forget about his acting career during the 80s either. He had a guest appearance on Miami Vice in 1984, and that same year was in the movie, Buster. He also Collins was considered to play DJ in the movie Doctor Who: Revelation of the Daleks: Part One and had a cameo role in the Beatles George Harrison movie, When We Was Fab.

Collins’ Personal Life

As with a lot of musicians and entertainers, Collins was married more than once, and ended up married 3 times. He also has five kids, one of which is the well-known actress named Lily Collins. His wives included Orianne (1999 to 2008 with two kids), Jill (1984 to 1996 and one kid) and Andrea (1975 to 1980 and two kids).

He is considered to have been one of the top successes in music of all time and has sold more than 200 million albums.


Over the years Collins got several awards both in music and for charity contributions. These included the Lieutenant of the Royal Victorian Order of the British Empire (1994) Queen’s Honours List, Best Original Song Oscar (1999), the British Phonographic Industry Award for British Male Solo Artist (1986) for the album “No Jacket Required,” 1989 Brit Award for British Male Solo Artist for the songs “A Groovy Kind of Love” and “Two Hearts;” and was the Honourary Ambassador of Peace for the Harvey Ball Foundation as well as in January 1989 he came in as the 4th top radio artist in France with the other winners being Kylie Minogue (1st), David Hallday (2nd) and Madonna (3rd).

Plus in 2003 he was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame and then in 20078 he got the Ivor Novello Award for International Achievement. Plus he supported several charities over the years to include in 2000 founding The Little Dreams Foundation, which supported kids four to sixteen in the area of sports and arts, as well as he supported The Topsy Foundation in South Africa, which provided services to fight HIV and AIDS, and he also supported the Tottenham Hotspur, which is involved in sports, and he was a patron for Children in Hunger in the UK which fights Brazilian kid’s poverty.

All in all Collins has 8 Grammy Awards, 6 Brit Awards, 2 Golden Globes, one Academy award, and he has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame that he was awarded in 1999. Plus he got put into the Modern Drummer Hall of Fame in 2012 and the Classic Drummer Hall of Fame in 20123.

Overall, Collins has had a very successful and exciting career in both stage and music with far too many songs under his belt than we can list in this short article. He had a five year retirement to concentrate on his family life, but did release an autobiography he wrote in 2016, as well as a Not Dead Yet Tour as recently as 2019.








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