Philip David Charles Collins LVO (born
30 January 1951) is an English drummer, singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer, and actor. He was the drummer and later became singer of the rock band Genesis,
and is also a solo artist. Between 1982 and 1989, Collins scored three UK and seven US number-one singles in his solo career. When his work with Genesis, his work with other artists, as well as his solo career is totalled, he had more US Top 40 singles than
any other artist during the 1980s. His most successful singles from the period include "In
the Air Tonight", "Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now)", "One
More Night", "Sussudio", "Two Hearts" and "Another Day in Paradise".
Born and raised in west London, Collins played drums from the age of five and completed drama school training, which secured him various roles as a
child actor. He then pursued a music career, joining Genesis in 1970 as their drummer and becoming lead singer in 1975 following the departure of Peter Gabriel. Collins began
a solo career in the 1980s, initially inspired by his marital breakdown and love of soul music, releasing a series of successful albums, including Face Value (1981), No Jacket Required (1985), and ...But Seriously (1989). Collins became "one of the most successful pop and adult contemporary singers of the '80s and beyond". He also became known for a distinctive gated reverb drum sound on many of his recordings. In
1996, Collins left Genesis to focus on solo work; this included writing songs for Disney’s Tarzan (1999) for which he received an Oscar for Best Original Song for “You'll
Be in My Heart”. He rejoined Genesis for their Turn It On Again Tour in 2007. Following a five-year retirement to focus on his family
released an autobiography in 2016 and completed his 97-date Not Dead Yet Tour in 2019.
Collins's discography includes
eight studio albums that have sold 33.5 million certified units in the US and an estimated 150 million worldwide, making him one of the world's
best-selling artists. He is one of only three recording artists, along with Paul
McCartneyand Michael Jackson, who have sold over 100 million records worldwide both as solo artists and separately as principal members of a band. He has received eight Grammy Awards, six Brit Awards (winning Best
British Male Artist three times), two Golden Globe Awards, one Academy
Award, and a Disney Legend Award. He
was awarded six Ivor Novello Awards from the British
Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors, including the International Achievement Award. He received a star on the Hollywood
Walk of Fame in 1999, and was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2003 and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fameas a member of Genesis in 2010. He has also been recognised by music publications with induction
into the Modern Drummer Hall of Fame in 2012, and the Classic Drummer Hall of Fame in 2013.
Philip David Charles
Collins was born on 30 January 1951 in Chiswick, Middlesex, now part of the London Borough of Hounslow. His father, Greville Philip
Austin Collins (1907–1972), was an insurance agent and his mother, Winifred June Collins (née Strange, 1913–2011), worked as a theatrical agent. His sister Carole competed as a professional ice skater and his older brother Clive is
a noted cartoonist.
Collins was given a toy drum kit for Christmas when he was five. His uncle later made him a makeshift
set that he used regularly. As Collins grew older, these were followed by more complete sets bought by his parents. He practiced by
playing along to music on the television and radio. According to Barbara Speake, founder of the stage school Collins later
attended, "Phil was always special; aged five he entered a Butlins talent contest singing Davy
Crockett, but he stopped the orchestra halfway through to tell them they were in the wrong key." Collins studied drum rudiments as a teenager, first learning basic rudiments under Lloyd Ryan and later studying further
under Frank King. Collins recalled: "Rudiments I found very, very helpful – much more helpful than anything else because they're used all the time. In any kind of funk or jazz drumming, the rudiments are always there." He never learned to read and write conventional musical
notation, and instead used a system he devised himself. He later regretted this, saying: "I never really came to grips
with the music. I should have stuck with it. I've always felt that if I could hum it, I could play it. For me, that was good enough, but that attitude is bad."
The Beatles were a major early influence on Collins, including their drummer Ringo Starr. He also followed the lesser-known London band the
Action, whose drummer he would copy and whose work introduced him to the soul music of Motown and Stax
Records. Collins was also influenced by the jazz and big band drummer Buddy Rich,whose
opinion on the importance of the hi-hat prompted him to stop using two bass drums and start using the hi-hat. While
attending Chiswick County School for Boys, Collins formed a band called the Real Thing, and later joined the Freehold, with whom he wrote his first song, "Lying Crying