Phil Collins was born in Chiswick, London, England, to Winifred (Strange), a theatrical agent, Greville Philip Austin Collins, an insurance agent. He spent most of his early entertainment life as a young actor and model. He played the “Artful Dodger” in the West End production of “Oliver!” alongside the future movie screen “Artful Dodger,” Jack Wild. His interest in music and drumming began at school, where he drummed with a stage school band “The Real Thing,” subsequently joining “Freehold” and “Flaming Youth.” “Flaming Youth” recorded an album to some critical acclaim, although the group disbanded shortly afterward. Collins later successfully auditioned for Genesis, taking over vocals from Peter Gabriel when he left the band in 1975.
After separating from his first wife, Collins recorded his first solo album, “Face Value.” The album was well received and Collins started to become a household name after the song “In the Air Tonight” was featured on the US TV show Miami Vice (1984). This instigated a guest appearance on the show playing a game show host. His third LP, “No Jacket Required,” produced multiple chart hits and awards.
Collins is an active musician and entertainer, contributing and guesting regularly on many albums, ranging from Gary Brooker and Camel (Peter Barden’s old band) to Eric Clapton. Collins also played as the drummer for the jazz fusion group Brand X and later formed his own big band to play swing and jazz music.
Collins was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Genesis in 2010. With over 200 million album sales (when his solo career and Genesis career are combined), Collins is one of the most successful musicians of all time, as well as probably the most successful British pop star to have been consistently overlooked for the Brit Award for Outstanding Contribution to British music.
Actress Lily Collins is his daughter (her mother is his second wife, Jill Tavelman).
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