The Unknown Stories Behind Phil Collins’ Life

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Phil Collins is a versatile British musician, noted as a singer, drummer, producer, and composer. To his credit, it should be noted that he is one of the few people who has managed to sell more than 150 million copies of his albums, including those published as a soloist and those in which he appeared as the vocalist of the group Genesis, after the departure of Peter Gabriel.

He was born Phillip David Charles Collins in Hounslow, near London, on January 30, 1951 (he is 71 years old). His father was an insurance salesman and his mother was a theater manager. At the age of five, he received a battery as a gift that would soon awaken his passion for music.

The little boy practiced at home and did not learn the formal notation, but instead perfected his own system that helped him interpret more complex pieces. It was not until he was fourteen that he began to receive classes at the Barbara Speak Stage School, where he began to develop another of his great passions, acting.

In 1964 came his first major role, as the character of Artful Dodger in the staging of the musical “Oliver!”, based on the novel by Charles Dickens, “Oliver Twist”. The play premiered in London and later traveled to the United States, where it won several Tony Awards, the highest awards given in the United States.

His milestones as an actor also include his participation in a Beatles movie (“A Hard Day’s Night”) and in the well-known 1968 musical feature film “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang”, 1968, directed by Ken Hughes and starring Dick Van Dyke.


When Phil Collins was only 21 years old and just starting his official career in music, he was hit by a major catastrophe. As he describes in his biography, “Not Dead Yet,” his father, Greville, fell ill at the end of 1972 without Phil’s knowledge. The two hadn’t seen each other in many months, so the musician was anticipating the family gathering for the holiday and contacted his father to ensure his appearance.

had a wonderful talk with his dad, and all appeared to be OK until his brother, Clive, informed him that Greville had died of a heart attack. To the relief of the family, he was released home after undergoing care in the hospital. However, Phil goes on to remark, “Dad spends a restful night. But the next morning he takes a turn for the worse, and Clive takes him to hospital in nearby Southend, where he has yet another bad turn. It’s Christmas Eve. Dad dies on Christmas Day at 8 a.m.”



Phil Collins’ commitment to Genesis after being the band’s vocalist in 1975 meant that he left only a few days after the delivery of his first son, Simon, to go on tour for two years with the group. According to his memoir, “In theory Genesis could have delayed the start of the album so I could be home for the birth without any panic or emergency dashes back over the North Sea. But this is Genesis, and the show must go on. In hindsight, I could have said, ‘F*** Genesis, I’m off to look after my wife.’ But we’re all expected to give everything to the band.”



Andrea Bertorelli and Phil Collins separated in 1980 after five years of marriage. The separation upset the musician, who made his version of the tale public, alleging she went off with a decorator and even contentiously put up a paint bucket and brush while performing “In the Air Tonight” on “Top of the Pops.”



Phil Collins’ second marriage to Jill Tavelman collapsed in 1996, owing to infidelity. Although the pair attempted to try and sort things out later, the harm had been inflicted and the two no longer adored one another.

Collins married for the 3rd time in 1999 to Orianne Cevey, with whom she had two children, but her post-natal depression produced differences and conflicts that prompted them to drift apart. Collins’ teenage daughter from his former spouse, Lily, found the separation extremely difficult after their split in 2006 because Orianne had become the next parent to her.



Even at the peak of his prominence in the mid-1980s, Phil Collins revealed to Playboy that he was affected by the numerous harsh comments he received from the press. He said, “I think a lot of critics saw the fans who show up for my concerts, these screaming girls in the audience, and just didn’t understand it. I didn’t ask for it, but it ends up with me getting all this ‘short, slightly bald, overweight, middle-aged pop star’ kind of thing. And it does hurt.”

Some of the most famous mockery Collins has experienced has come from the few episodes of “South Park” in which he was widely derided. Trey Parker and Matt Stone crafted crude, yet amusing caricature of the musician, but they’ve done that to lot of celebs.