Phil Collins in concert with Genesis in October 1981
Born January 30, 1951
Origin Chiswick, London, England
Genre(s) Soft rock, Pop
Instrument(s) Vocals, Drums, Piano
Years active 1969-present
acts Genesis, Brand X & Flaming Youth
Philip David Charles Collins (born January 30, 1951 in Chiswick, London) is a British rock and pop musician. He is best known as the lead singer and drummer of progressive rock group Genesis and as a Grammy and Academy Award-winning solo artist.
In total, Collins sang the lead vocals on eight American chart-toppers between 1984 and 1989; seven as a solo artist and one 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' professional career began as a drummer, first with obscure rock group Flaming Youth and then more famously with Genesis. In Genesis, Collins originally supplied only backing vocals for front man Peter Gabriel; it would not be until Gabriel's departure in 1975 that he became the group's lead singer. As the decade closed, Genesis' 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' total worldwide sales as a solo artist, as of 2002, were over 100 million. 
" 1 Early life and career
" 2 Genesis era
" 3 Solo career
" 4 Films,Theatre and Television
" 5 Personal life
" 6 Further reading
" 7 Discography
o 7.1 Studio Albums
o 7.2 Number One singles
" 8 See also
" 9 External links
" 10 Notes
" 11 References
Early life and career
Collins received a toy drum kit for Christmas when he was five. Later, his uncle made him a makeshift one that he used regularly, and he became better. As Collins grew they 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.
Collins looked for every opportunity to perform. 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 a London production of Oliver!. He appeared as an extra on The Beatles' A Hard Day's Night, as part of a crowd scene.  He also auditioned for the role of Romeo in Romeo and Juliet (1968).
Despite the beginnings of an acting career, Collins continued to gravitate toward 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' 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 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.
Main article: Genesis (band)
In 1970, Collins answered a Melody Maker classified ad for "...a drummer sensitive to acoustic music, and acoustic twelve-string guitarist".  Genesis placed the ad after having already lost three drummers over two albums.  The audition occurred at the home of Peter Gabriel's parents. Prospective candidates performed tracks from the group's second album, Trespass (1970). Collins arrived early, listened to the other auditions and memorised the pieces before his turn.
The music video for 1986's "Land of Confusion" featured the members of Genesis in puppet form. MTV nominated the clip for Video of the Year. From left to right, band members Mike Rutherford, Phil Collins, and Tony Banks.
Collins won the audition, and a year later, Nursery Cryme (1971) was released. Although his role would remain drummer and occasional backing vocalist for the next five years, he twice sang lead vocals on "For Absent Friends" (from Nursery Cryme) and "More Fool Me" (from Selling England by the Pound) (1973).
In 1974, while recording the album The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, Brian Eno who did the Enossification on Peter's voice was in need of a drummer for his album Another Green World and Phil was sent to play drums as payment for his doings with the band.
In 1975, following the final tour supporting the concept album The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, Gabriel left the group to pursue solo projects. Collins became lead vocalist after an unfruitful search for Gabriel's replacement. The group recruited former Yes and King Crimson drummer Bill Bruford and later Chester Thompson to play drums during live shows, although Collins continued to play during longer instrumental sections. The first album with Collins as lead vocalist, 1976's A Trick of the Tail, reached the American Top 40, and climbed as high as #3 on the UK charts. Said Rolling Stone, "Genesis has managed to turn the possible catastrophe of Gabriel's departure into their first broad-based American success." 
Collins simultaneously performed in a jazz fusion group called Brand X. The band recorded their first album, Unorthodox Behaviour, with Collins as drummer. Since he put greater priority in Genesis, there were several Brand X tours and albums released without Collins. He credits Brand X as his first use of a drum machine as well as his first use of a home 8-track tape machine. 
As the decade closed, Genesis began a shift from their progressive rock roots and toward pop music. Although their 1978 album ...And Then There Were Three... contained progressive rock influences, it also featured their first UK Top 10 and US Top 40 single, "Follow You, Follow Me".
" "Dance on a Volcano" (1976) (file info) - play in browser (beta)
o The first track from Genesis' A Trick of the Tail, this was Collins' first appearance as the group's lead singer. A progressive rock track, it contrasts with the style of his later work.
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In the 1980s, the group scored a string of successful albums, including Duke (1980), Abacab (1981), Genesis (1983) and Invisible Touch (1986). The latter album's title track reached number one on the American Billboard charts, the only Genesis song to do so. The group received an MTV "Video of the Year" nomination in 1987 for "Land of Confusion", another popular single from the album, although ironically