He’s a music legend and we’ve all sung his songs but now he’s crushed by disease and pain

Musician Phil Collins has eight Grammy awards and is one of only three musicians who has sold more than 100 million albums both as a solo act and a member of a band.

In 1951 on January 30th, Phil was born in London, England. His parents possessed creative spirits, which is one of the main reasons he developed a passion for music.

At the age of five, his uncle made him a drum kit out of tambourines, triangles, cymbals and toy drums in an attempt “to keep him quiet’.”

Shortly after, he began performing shows at his parents’ boating club.

“When I started playing seriously, the English beat thing was just happening, the Shadows and bands like that. It was the very early ’60s,” Collins recalled.

“I remember buying Please Please Me. I used to put the record player on very loud and set up my drums so I was facing the mirror, that way you don’t look at what you’re doing.

“Then when I was fourteen I went to a teacher to learn to read drum music. I figured when this rock-and-roll thing finished I would have to make a living playing in a dance band or in an orchestra pit. So I learned to read drum music, but I found that my capacity for reading was not anywhere near as good as actually playing by instinct.”

In 1970, Collin’s life was all about to change when he met a group called Genesis who were searching for a drummer so he reached out to them. While Collins was part of the group they released five albums with singles which reached the charts.

When the founder of Genesis left the group, they struggled to source a new singer so Collins reluctantly stepped in. 

In addition to the group Collins also had a very impressive solo career. With smash hits such as In The Air TonightYou Can’t Hurry Love and I Don’t Care Anymore he soon became one of the best in the music industry.

Eventually he made a decision to leave the group and focus on his solo career, Collins said: “Having been with Genesis for 25 years, I felt it time to change direction in my musical life.

“For me now it will be music for movies, some jazz projects and of course my solo career. I wish the guys in Genesis all the very best in their future. We remain the best of friends.”

In 2017, Collins decided to reunite with the band to do a world tour The Last Domino, which was put on hold due to the pandemic.

Naturally fans were looking forward to seeing the group on stage together again. In an interview with the BBC Breakfast many people became concerned about his health as the band announced Collins’ son Nicholas will be drumming while Phil sings.

“Nic is a great drummer, but he is capable of sounding like early Phil. For Mike and I, that was always quite exciting,” Tony Banks said.

“It means you can play some of the songs that you haven’t played with Phil as the drummer for a long time.”

The musician revealed the reason he will not be drumming: “I’d love to but you know, I mean, I can barely hold a stick with this hand. So there are certain physical things that get in the way.

“I’m kind of physically challenged a bit which is very frustrating because I’d love to be playing up there with my son,” adding that he doesn’t know if he wants to be touring any longer.

“We’re all men of our age, and I think to some extent, I think it probably is putting it to bed,” he said. “I think yeah, I think just generally for me, I don’t know if I want to go out on the road anymore.”

Over the last few years, Collins has  suffered with certain health issues which has left him struggling to get on his feet. In 2009 following a surgery he was left with dislocated vertebra, nerve damage. He had also suffered a foot fracture that left him feeling like he’s walking “on sticks.”

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