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Phil Collins Biography

Home > Music > C > Collins, Phil > Biography

Birth Name: Philip David Charles Collins
Born: 1951/01/30
Birth Place: Chiswick, London, England
Years Active: 1967–present
Genres: Progressive Rock, Rock, Pop, Jazz Fusion

Philip David Charles “Phil” Collins, LVO (born January 30, 1951) is an English singer-songwriter, drummer, pianist and actor best known as a drummer and vocalist for British progressive rock group Genesis and as a solo artist.

Collins's professional music career began as a drummer, first with Flaming Youth and then more famously with Genesis. In Genesis, Collins originally supplied backing vocals for front man Peter Gabriel, singing lead on only two songs, “For Absent Friends” from 1971's “Nursery Cryme” album and “More Fool Me” from “Selling England by the Pound,” which was released in 1973. Following Gabriel's departure in 1975, Collins became the group's lead singer.

Collins' first solo album, “Face Value,” was released in the United Kingdom in February 1981 and peaked at #1 on the U.K. Albums chart and was certified 5x platinum by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI). His second album, “Hello, I Must Be Going!,” was released in 1982 and included the U.K. #1 “You Can't Hurry Love.” The album peaked at #2 in the UK and was certified 3x platinum.

In 1984 Collins recorded “Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now),” the ballad shot to #1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart and #2 in the U.K. He also performed a duet with Philip Bailey, “Easy Lover,” which reached #2 in the U.S. and spent four weeks at #1 in the U.K. In 1984 Collins participated in Bob Geldof's Band Aid charity project, and played drums in the Band Aid single “Do They Know It's Christmas?”

In early 1985 Collins released his third album, “No Jacket Required,” which contained the hits “Sussudio” and “One More Night.” “No Jacket Required” debuted at #1 in the U.S. and U.K. and it is the best-selling album of his career having been certified diamond in the U.S. for sales over 10 million and 6x platinum in the U.K.

He also recorded the song “Separate Lives,” a duet with Marilyn Martin which reached #1 in the U.S. In 1988 Collins contributed songs to the soundtrack of the movie “Buster,” in which he also starred including a cover of “A Groovy Kind of Love", which became a U.K. and U.S. #1 hit. In 1989 Collins produced another successful album, “...But Seriously,” featuring the anti-homelessness anthem “Another Day in Paradise,” which peaked at #1 in the U.S. and #2 in the UK. A live album, “Serious Hits... Live!” followed in 1990.

Collins' fifth album, “Both Sides,” was released in November 1993. Although it was less successful than his previous albums and produced only one U.K. Top 10 single, the album still reached #1 in the U.K. His next album, “Dance into the Light,” was released in 1996 and was even less successful, peaking at #4 in the U.K. and was only certified silver.

A greatest hits compilation, “...Hits,” was released in 1998 and was successful, returning Collins to the U.K. #1 spot and multi-platinum status in the U.K. and U.S. The album's sole new track was a cover of the Cyndi Lauper hit “True Colors.” “Testify,” Collins seventh studio album was released in 2002. It was a success in Europe, peaking at #15 in the U.K. and within the Top 5 in Austria, Germany and the Netherlands.

After the release of “Testify” Collins announced that he was going into semi-retirement, and released two compilation albums in 2004, “The Platinum Collection” and “Love Songs: A Compilation... Old and New.” Collins released his eighth studio album, “Going Back,” in September 2010.

According to Atlantic Records, Collins's total worldwide sales as a solo artist is in excess of 150 million. He has won seven Grammy Awards, an Academy Award, and two Golden Globes for his solo work. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Genesis in 2010.

Collins is one of only three recording artists (along with Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson) who have sold over 100 million albums worldwide both as solo artists and (separately) as principal members of a band. When his work with Genesis, his work with other artists, as well as his solo career is totaled, Collins had more Top 40 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart during the 1980s than any other artist.