Phil Collins
Birth Date:
January 30, 1951
Birth Place:
Chiswick, London, England, UK
5' 6" (1.68 m)
Famous for:
The lead singer and drummer of progressive rock group Genesis
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Another Day in Paradise


Grammy Award winning singer, songwriter, musician and occasional actor Phil Collins first came to fame as the drummer and lead vocalist of the British rock band Genesis. He initially joined the group in 1970 as a drummer and moved to lead singer in 1975 after the departure of original vocalist Peter Gabriel. With Collins as lead vocalist, the band enjoyed a series of successful albums, including “Duke” (1980), “Abacab” (1981), “Genesis” (1983) and “Invisible Touch” (1986), but he left the group in 1996 to become a full time soloist. Following a brief reunion in 1999, the group, with Collins, Tony Banks and Mike Rutherford, have been touring together since 2007.

As a soloist, Collins has released seven studio albums, one live album, four compilation albums, 43 singles and two soundtracks. He won his first Grammy Award for the song “Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now)” (1984), which he wrote for the film of the same name. His next two Grammy Awards came from the popular album “No Jacket Required” (1985). Collins won a Grammy Award and a Golden Globe Award for the song “Two Hearts,” which was taken from the “Buster” soundtrack. He also won Grammy Awards for the hit single “Another Day in Paradise” (1989) and for the “Tarzan” soundtrack (1999). The song “You'll Be In My Heart” (from the “Tarzan” soundtrack) brought him an Oscar and Golden Globe Award. Commenting about his Academy Award, he stated, “Ever since I can remember, I've watched the Oscar shows, watching all those great actors, writers and directors receiving the Holy Grail. I never thought in a million years that I'd get a nomination. As years rolled by, I was lucky enough to be included a couple of times. When my third time came with ‘Tarzan’ (1999), I truly didn't believe it would be me. When Cher opened the envelope and said ‘Ph...,’ you could have knocked me down with a feather. It really was, and is, an incredible feeling. Of all the awards I've been fortunate to collect over the years, the Oscar is the most treasured.”

Collins has acted in several films, including “Buster” (1988), “Hook” (1991), “Frauds” (1993), “Balto” (1995, as the voice of Muk and Luk) and “The Jungle Book 2” (2003, as the voice of Lucky).

Collins' new studio album, “Going Back,” will be released in September 2010.

The Artful Dodger

Childhood and Family:

Philip David Charles Collins, professionally known as Phil Collins, was born on January 30, 1951, in Chiswick, London, England. His mother, June Collins, is a gifted agent, coaches at theaters and served as the associate producer of the movies “Hedda Gabler” and “Doctor Who: The Five Doctors.” Phil developed a love for the drums at an early age and got his first toy drum kit as a Christmas present when he was 5. His first real kit came when he was 12 and he practiced with the radio and television.

Although musically talented, Phil initially began his career as a child actor and model. He received his early professional training at the Barbara Speake Stage School in London. He quickly debuted at the London West End with the musical “Oliver,” where he starred as The Artful Dodger. He made his first feature film appearance in the Beatles movie “A Hard Day's Night” (1964) at the age 13. He then landed a supporting role in “Calamity the Cow” (1967) and his scene was deleted from “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” (1968). Phil did not return to music until he attended London's Chiswick Community School, where he formed a band called The Real Thing. He went on to join The Freehold and wrote his first song, “Lying Crying Dying,” while with the group.

Phil has been married and divorced three times. He married Andrea Bertorelli, a Canadian woman whom he met while attending a drama class in London, on September 27, 1975, but they divorced on February 2, 1980, after she began an affair with the couple's decorator and painter. They share two children, daughter Joely Collins (born on August 8, 1972) and son Simon Collins (born on September 14, 1976). Meeting in 1980, Phil married Jill Tavelman on August 4, 1984. The marriage ended in divorce on December 5, 1996, after producing one child, daughter Lily Collins (born in 1989). On July 24, 1999, Phil married Swiss born Orianne Cevey, his former interpreter at the Beau Rivage Hotel in Lausanne, Switzerland. The two welcomed their first child, son Nicholas Grev Austin Collins, on April 21, 2001, and their second son, Matthew Collins, was born on December 1, 2004. Phil became estranged from his wife in March 2006 and they eventually divorced on August 17, 2008. He left Switzerland in 2006 and moved to New York.

No Jacket Required


18 year old Phil Collins made his recording debut as a drummer for the British rock group Flaming Youth. They produced a single album called “Ark 2” in 1969. After a brief tour, they disbanded. In 1970, Collins played percussion on the George Harrison song “The Art of Dying.” It was also that year that he successfully auditioned for Genesis. From 1970 until 1975, Collins primarily served as drummer and backup vocals for the group, although he did lead vocals on “For Absent Friends” (from 1971's “Nursery Cryme”) and “More Fool Me” (from 1973's “Selling England by the Pound”). He officially replaced Peter Gabriel as lead singer in 1975, but continued to play drums on all of the group's studio recordings.

Collins made his debut as the group’s full time lead vocalist with the album “A Trick of the Tail,” which was released in February 1976. It rose to No. 3 in the U.K. and No. 31 in the U.S. and was certified gold on both sides of the Atlantic. It was followed by another gold album, “Wind & Wuthering,” in December 1976, which peaked at No. 7 and No. 26 in the U.K. and the U.S. Albums chart, respectively. The single “Your Own Special Way,” No. 62 on the Billboard Hot 100, marked the first charting single in the U.S. with Collins as lead vocalist. By the late 1970s, Genesis had made the transition from their modern rock roots to more approachable, radio friendly pop-rock music. Their efforts quickly paid off when the lead single “Follow You, Follow Me” (1978), from the album “...And Then There Were Three...,” which rose to No. 7 on the U.K. Singles chart and #23 in the U.S. Released in April 1978, the album peaked at No. 3 in the U.K. and No. 14 in the U.S. and became their first album to achieve platinum status in the U.S. Meanwhile, Collins also played drums for a jazz fusion group named Brand X from 1976 to 1977 and in 1979. He also performed on “Voyage of the Acolyte” (1975), a debut solo album by Steve Hackett. On the album, he sang vocals and played drums.

Collins and Genesis enjoyed further success in the 1980s with the albums “Duke” (1980), “Abacab” (1981), “Genesis” (1983) and “Invisible Touch” (1986). “Duke” became their first No. 1 in the U.K. and went platinum in the U.K. and U.S. “Abacab” marked the group's subsequent No.1 hit in the U.K. and their first Top 10 U.S. hit album. It was certified double platinum in America. The album “Genesis” rose to No. 1 in the U.K. and No. 9 in the U.S. and was certified 4x platinum in the U.S. thanks in large to the single “That's All,” which rose to No. 6 on the Billboard Hot 100 and became the first U.S. Top 10 hit for the group. “Invisible Touch,” a No. 1 hit in the U.K. and No. 3 in the U.S., went 4x platinum and 6x platinum in the U.K. and the U.S., respectively, and spawned their No. 1 U.S. hit single with the title track. The album also produced four Top 10 U.S. Pop hits with “Throwing It All Away,” “Land of Confusion,” which received a 1987 MTV Video Music nomination for Video of the Year, “In Too Deep” and “Tonight, Tonight, Tonight.”

The same year Genesis released the album “Abacab,” Collins made his debut as a soloist with the launch of “Face Value,” which was released under Atlantic/Virgin Records on February 9, 1981. The album rose to No. 1 in the U.K., Canada and Sweden and made the top 10 in the U.S. (#7). The lead single “In the Air Tonight” was an immediate hit in the U.K., where it quickly rose to No. 2 on the Singles chart. In the U.S., the song rose to No. 19 on the Billboard Hot 100 and went gold. The album eventually earned 5x platinum in the U.K. and the U.S. and 10x platinum in Canada.

Collins' sophomore effort, “Hello, I Must Be Going,” hit the music stores in November 1982. It rose to No. 2 on the U.K. Albums chart, No. 8 in the U.S. and went triple platinum in both countries. Collins covered the Supremes’ hit “You Can't Hurry Love” for the album and his version went to No. 1 in the UK, Ireland and the Netherlands and became a Top 10 hit in several countries, including the U.S. (#10) and Australia ($3). He supported the album with a tour of the same name.

In 1984, Collins wrote the song “Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now)” for the motion picture “Against All Odds” (1984), which was directed by Taylor Hackford and starred Rachel Ward, Jeff Bridges and James Woods. The song rose to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and in Ireland and made the top 10 in the U.K. (#2), Australia (#3), Sweden (#3), Switzerland (#4), Germany (#9) and the Netherlands (#10). It won a Grammy for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance and was nominated for a 1985 Oscar for Best Music, Original Song, a Golden Globe for Best Original Song - Motion Picture and a Grammy for Best Album of Instrumental Score Written for a Motion Picture or Television Special. The following year, Collins resumed his acting career after nearly two decade when he portrayed the role of Phil Mayhew in an episode of “Miami Vice” called “Phil the Shill.” The same year, he was also invited to perform at Bob Geldof's charity concert “Live Aid.” He then appeared at the Wembley Stadium in England and the JFK Stadium in Philadelphia.

Collins' third studio album, “No Jacket Required,” was released on January 25, 1985, and became a chart topper in several countries. It generated the U.S. No. 1 hit singles “Sussudio” and “One More Night” and the hits “Don't Lose My Number” (#4) and “Take Me Home” (#7). The album won a Grammy for Album of the Year in 1985 and Collins took home the award for Best Male Vocal Performance. “No Jacket Required” was certified 12x platinum in the U.S. 1985 also found the duet song “Easy Lover,” recorded for Philip Bailey's solo album “Chinese Wall” (1984), at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100. Collins also recorded the song “Separate Love” with Marlyn Martin for the soundtrack of the film “White Nights.” “Separate Love,” written by Stephen Bishop, peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and No. 2 on the U.K. Singles Chart. It also rose to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks.

In 1988, Collins contributed songs to the soundtrack of the film “Buster,” which starred Collins, Julie Walters, Larry Lamb and Sheila Hancock. The songs “A Groovy Kind of Love” and “Two Hearts” went to No. 1 in the U.S., with the first also becoming a chart topper in the U.K. “Two Hearts” was nominated for a 1989 Oscar for Best Music, Original Song and won a Golden Globe for Best Original Song - Motion Picture, and a Grammy for Best Song Written Specifically for a Motion Picture or for Television. After his role in the film, he was cast as Uncle Ernie in the TV film “The Who Live, Featuring the Rock Opera Tommy” (1989).

Collins launched the fourth studio album “...But Seriously” on November 7, 1989. It topped the charts in the U.S., the U.K., Canada, Austria, Germany, Australia, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland. It spawned his most successful song, “Another Day in Paradise,” which rose to a No. 1 hit around the world. The song won Collins a 1991 Grammy for Record of the Year.

In 1990, Collins was featured on the CBS variety special “Seriously...Phil Collins” and then starred as Inspector Good in the Steven Spielberg film “Hook” in 1991. Also in 1991, he was reunited with Genesis for the album “We Can't Dance,” which was released in November 1991. The album went to No. 1 in several countries and rose to the Top 10 in the United States (#4), where it eventually went platinum four times. The album became Collins' last studio album with Genesis before he decided to leave the group in 1996 to focus on his solo career.

Collins released “Both Sides,” the follow up to “…But Seriously,” on November 9, 1993. It was a No. 1 in the U.K. and went to No. 13 in the U.S. It received a lukewarm reception from critics and only went platinum in the U.S. The same year, he appeared in the TV films “Comic Relief: The Invasion of the Comic Tomatoes” and “And the Band Played On” (HBO) and the Australian produced film “Frauds” (as Roland Copping). He also appeared in the short film “Calliope” (1994) and the animated film “Balto” (1995), where he provided the voices of polar bears Muk and Luk. In 1996, he made an appearance in an episode of Fox's “New York Undercover” called “Going Platinum.”

The sixth studio album (also his first since leaving Genesis), “Dance into the Light,” was launched on October 22, 1996. It peaked at No. 5 on the U.K. Albums chart and No. 23 on the Billboard 200. The title track went to No. 9 in the U.K. and No. 45 in the U.S. The album marked Collins' first gold album in the U.S. as a solo singer. In 1998, he covered the hit song “True Colors” for the compilation album “Hits” (1998), which went to No. 1 in the U.K. His version rose to No. 12 on the Billboard Hot 100 and No. 2 on the Billboard Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks. The same year, he toured with the Phil Collins Big Band.

In 1999, Collins performed on the soundtrack of the animated film “Tarzan.” The song “You'll Be In My Heart,” No. 21 on the Billboard Hot 100 and a No. 1 on the Billboard Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks, won an Academy Award for Best Music, Original Song, a Golden Globe for Best Original Song - Motion Picture and an ASCAP Award for Most Performed Songs from Motion Pictures. He also performed the songs “Strangers Like Me,” “Son of Man” and “Two Worlds” for the soundtrack, which rose to No. 5 in the U.S. and won a 2000 Grammy for Best Soundtrack Album. Also in 1999, Collins and other Genesis members were reunited to record “The Carpet Crawlers” for the compilation album “Turn It on Again: The Hits” (1999). The group was again reunited in 2006 and toured under the “Turn It On Again: The Tour” in 2007.

Collins released the album “Testify” on November 12, 2002. It peaked at No. 15 in the U.K. and No. 30 on the Billboard 200 and spawned the singles “Can't Stop Loving You” and “The Least You Can Do/Wake Up Call.” The album was certified gold in the U.K. The next year, Collins co-composed the soundtrack of the Disney animated film “Brother Bear” (2003) and received a Golden Satellite nomination for Best Original Song for the song “Great Spirits.” He also received an Annie nomination for Outstanding Music in an Animated Feature Production and an ASCAP Award for Top Box Office Films for his contribution to the soundtrack. Still in 2003, he provided the voice of Lucky in the animated film “The Jungle Book 2.”

In 2006, Collins appeared in the PlayStation Portable and PlayStation 2 video game “Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories.” The same year, he also contributed eleven new songs and instrumental pieces when Disney's “Tarzan” was adapted for Broadway. In 2008, he appeared in an episode of “The Naked Brothers Band” called “Polar Bears.”

Collins is set to release a new studio album titled “Going Back” on September 13, 2010.


  • ASCAP Film and Television Music: ASCAP Award, Top Box Office Films, “Brother Bear,” 2004

  • Oscar: Best Music, Original Song, “Tarzan,” For the song “You'll Be In My Heart,” 2000

  • Golden Globe: Best Original Song - Motion Picture, “Tarzan,” For the song “You'll Be In My Heart,” 2000

  • Grammy: Best Soundtrack Album, “Tarzan,” 2000

  • ASCAP Film and Television Music: ASCAP Award, Most Performed Songs from Motion Pictures, “Tarzan,” for the song “You'll Be in My Heart,” 2000

  • ASCAP Film and Television Music: Top Box Office Films, “Tarzan,” 2000

  • Grammy: Record of the Year, “Another Day in Paradise,” 1991

  • BMI Film & TV: Most Performed Song from a Film, “Buster,” For the song “Two Hearts,” 1989

  • Golden Globe: Best Original Song - Motion Picture, “Buster,” For the song “Two Hearts,” 1989

  • Grammy: Best Song Written Specifically for a Motion Picture or for Television, “Buster,” For the song “Two Hearts,” 1989

  • BMI Film & TV: Most Performed Song from a Film, “Mona Lisa,” For the song “In Too Deep,” 1988

  • Grammy: Album of the Year, “No Jacket Required,” 1985

  • Grammy: Best Male Vocal Performance, 1985

  • Grammy: Best Male Pop Vocal Performance, “Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now),” 1985

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