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Phil Collins

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Phil Collins was born in Chiswick, West London in 1951. At the age of five he was given a child's drum kit, a novelty gift which would incite a life-long passion for percussion. He went on to study at the Barbara Speake Stage School where he was taught the rudiments of acting, while he studied the ins and outs of a drum kit from seasoned professional Lloyd Ryan.

Focusing on acting at a young age, Collins landed his first role as the Artful Dodger in a stage production of 'Oliver!'. He landed bit and extra parts, but by the late '60s he realised his passion lay in music and after seeing an advert by the progressive rock band Genesis, in 1970 Collins became their new drummer. In 1975, frontman Peter Gabriel announced he was leaving the band and, although auditioning hundreds of singers as his replacement, it was decided that Collins was the best man for the job.

As the band's progressive sound became more and more successful around the world, Collins explored his interest in jazz with the offshoot band Brand X and in 1981 released his debut solo album 'Face Value' which featured his biggest hit 'In the Air Tonight'. Face Value achieved the number one spot in seven countries including the UK and USA, selling more than five million copies worldwide.

Returning to his acting roots, he starred in the 1988 movie 'Buster', for which he also wrote 'Two Hearts', winning a Golden Globe for Best Original Song. After a five-year hiatus, Genesis released their 1991 album 'We Can't Dance' and after a few more years of juggling band and solo work, Collins announced his departure from Genesis in 1996.

In 1999 Collins got the job composing the score for the Disney film 'Tarzan'; the lead song 'You'll Be In My Heart' spent 19 weeks at number one and won both an Academy Award and a Golden Globe for Best Original Song. 40 years after their formation, Collins reunited with Tony Banks and Mike Rutherford for the Genesis Turn It On Again Tour of 2006. Collins also returned to the studio to record a solo album of Motown hits, a project which had been close to his heart for some time. In 2011 he announced his retirement after multiple health problems became a priority. His retirement only lasted two years however, as in 2013 he declared his intention to return to music. His 2016 Not Dead Yet Tour, with the title taken from his autobiography, saw him play five nights at London's Royal Albert Hall, the tickets for which sold out in a reported 15 seconds.

Artist biography compiled by BDS/West 10. All rights reserved