Born Jan 31, 1951 in Chiswick, London, England
Phil Collins was almost 30 years old when his first solo single, "In the Air Tonight," became a #2 hit in
the U.K. (the song was a Top 20 hit in the U.S.). Between 1984 and 1990, Collins had a string of 13 straight U.S. Top Ten hits.
Long before any of that happened, however, Collins was a child actor/singer who appeared as "the Artful Dodger" in the London production of Oliver! in 1964. (He also has a cameo in A Hard Day's Night, among other films.) He got his first break in music at the end of his teens, when he was chosen to be a replacement drummer in the British art-rock band Genesis in 1970. (Collins maintained a separate jazz career with the band Brand X, as well.) Genesis was fronted by singer Peter Gabriel. They had achieved a moderate level of success in the U.K. and the U.S., with elaborate concept albums, before Gabriel abruptly left in 1974. Genesis auditioned 400 singers without success, then decided to let Collins have a go.
In 1996, Phil a lifetime ambition by taking to
the road with his own 20-piece big band, debuting at the Albert
Hall in the company of conductor Quincy Jones and guest vocalist
Tony Bennett, and going on to play seven other European
concerts, including two shows at the prestigious Montreux Jazz
Phil Collins has been a big fan of
legendary drummers Sid Catlett, Sonny
Payne and Jo
Jones, not to forget Buddy