Name: Philip David Charles "Phil" Collins
Date of Birth: January 30, 1951
Place of Birth: Chiswick, London
* In My Wildest Dreams (1994)
* All I Need to Know (1995)
* Me and You (1996)
* I Will Stand (1997)
* Everywhere We Go (1999)
* No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems (2002)
* All I Want for Christmas Is a Real Good Tan (2003)
* When the Sun Goes Down (2004)
* Be as You Are (Songs from an Old Blue Chair) (2005)
* The Road and the Radio (2005)
* Just Who I Am: Poets & Pirates (2007)
* Lucky Old Sun (2008)
* Hemingway's Whiskey(2010)
Philip David Charles "Phil" Collins, is an English singer-songwriter, drummer, keyboardist and actor best known as a drummer and vocalist for English progressive rock group Genesis and as a solo artist.
Collins was born in Chiswick, London. He was given a toy drum kit for Christmas when he was five. Later, his uncle Mark Wade made him a makeshift one that he used regularly. As Collins grew older these were followed by more complete sets bought by his parents. He practiced by playing alongside the television and radio, and never learned to read and write conventional musical notation; instead, he uses a system he devised himself.
His professional training began at fourteen when he entered Barbara Speake Stage School. He began a career as a child actor and model, and won his first major role as The Artful Dodger in the London production of Oliver!. He was an extra in The Beatles' A Hard Day's Night – one of hundreds of screaming teenagers during the TV concert sequence and seen fleetingly in a close-up. He was also in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang as one of the children who stormed the castle at the end of the movie but was edited out. He also auditioned for the role of Romeo in Romeo and Juliet (1968), a role won by fellow "Artful Dodger" actor, Leonard Whiting. Collins was among the last three finalists for the role of "I.Q." on the American children's television show The Bugaloos (he lost out to English actor/musician John McIndoe).
Despite the beginnings of an acting career, Collins continued to gravitate towards music. While attending Chiswick Community School he formed a band called The Real Thing and later joined The Freehold. With the latter group, he wrote his first song titled "Lying Crying Dying".
Collins's first record deal came as drummer for Flaming Youth who released a single album, Ark 2 (1969). A concept album inspired by the recent media attention surrounding the moon landing, Ark 2 (with Ronnie Caryl, Brian Chatton and Gordon (Flash) Smith), failed to make much commercial success despite positive critical reviews. Melody Maker featured the album as "Pop Album of the Month", describing it as "adult music beautifully played with nice tight harmonies". The album's main single, "From Now On", failed on the radio. After a year of touring, band tensions and the lack of commercial success dissolved the group. In 1970, the 19-year old Collins played percussion on the George Harrison song "The Art of Dying". Harrison credited him in the liner notes to the remastered CD version of the album released in 2000.]
Collins sang the lead vocals on several chart hits in the United Kingdom and the United States between 1978 and 1994, either as a solo artist or with Genesis. His singles, often dealing with lost love, ranged from the drum-heavy "In the Air Tonight", to the dance pop of "Sussudio", to the political statements of his most successful song, "Another Day in Paradise". His international popularity transformed Genesis from a progressive rock group to a regular on the pop charts and an early MTV mainstay.
Collins's professional music career began as a drummer, first with obscure rock group 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. As the decade closed, Genesis's first international hit, "Follow You, Follow Me", demonstrated a drastic change from the band's early years.
His concurrent solo career, heavily influenced by his personal life, brought both him and Genesis commercial success. According to Atlantic Records, Collins's total worldwide sales as a solo artist, as of 2002, were 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. According to Billboard, when his work with Genesis, his work with other artists, as well as his solo career is totalled, Collins has the most top 40 hits on the Billboard charts for the 1980s.