Philip David Charles Collins, his full name, was born on January 30th, 1951 in London. He visited a drama school. Since he was 12 years old he played drums. First he worked as an actor, but his real career began in 1971 when he paid attention to an advertisement in a newspaper. The young and quite unknown band Genesis with lead singer Peter Gabriel was looking for a drummer. The singer Gabriel - in former years drummer, too - was convinced by Phil Collins capacity in playing the drums.
Genesis quickly became famous, When Peter Gabriel left the band in 1974, there was a "run" on the free place. The rest of the band listened to a lot of demo tapes and invited many candidates, but nobody could be a substitute for Gabriel. Finally Phil Collins, who has already been a background vocalist before, took the part of the lead singer.
Although there was a lot of work when Genesis became a popular band, Phil Collins was still involved in a band calls Brand X, which mainly played jazz and wasn't really successful.
In the late 70s Genesis went on a big US-tour in order to conquer the difficult American market. His wife Andrea couldn't handle the fact that Phil would be absent for so long. She told him that she could not live in such relationship. When Phil came back, his wife left him.
This was a big shock for Phil Collins. He had a break and spent his free time at home alone, mostly sitting behind his musical instruments. So his famous song "In the Air Tonight" was written during that time. Two of the songs he wrote in that time found their ways into the US TOP 20. Parallel to his work with Genesis he produced further solo-albums. 1993 he wrote the song "Both Sides", which he made completely on his own. It was a part of a big change in his life.
Since publishing "Both Sides" a lot had happened in Phil's life: After 25 years cooperation with Genesis he left the group. While he worked at "Both Sides" he decided that he only wanted to spent any further effort on his solo-career from now on. But more important for his musical direction at that time was his second divorce: A new relationship and the change of residence to Geneve (Switzerland). There he lived with his new wife Orriane Cevey. In 1998
he published the album "Hits". It contains a collection of his greatest hits and sound-tracks (e.g. "A Groovy Kind of Love" taken from the film "Buster" 1988).
Phil Collins always managed to do two jobs at the same time. Beside his music he was engaged in movie projects as actor as well as composer. First time in "Tarzan" (1999)
as producer. By this way he showed that he could play sensitive roles as well as comedy roles. In the end this shows how much he is a multiple talent.
Next to his work his social engagement is very import for him. He combined both in the Live Aid Concert in July 13th, 1985, which was organized by Bob Geldof. Phil played in Wembley (Great Britain) and afterwards he flew by Concorde to Philadelphia. So he was the first artist acting on the same day in Europe and America.