About Phil Collins
Phil Collins dominated pop radio in the '80s, bringing a liberating sense of experimentation to unabashedly commercial material. Born in West London in 1951, Collins developed his adventurous tactics while drumming (and eventually singing lead) for English prog-rock visionaries Genesis, spearheading the band’s unlikely transformation into a mainstream pop act. But Collins’ solo work proved even more successful: His debut solo single, 1981’s “In the Air Tonight,” contrasted meditative synths with a famously cathartic drum solo that made gated reverb a ubiquitous effect across the decade to come. He continued to amplify his heartfelt singing via cutting-edge electronics and effects on 1985’s smash No Jacket Required, often playing multiple keyboard instruments as well as drumming and singing lead. That rare balance of studio craftsmanship and sincere emotion has made Collins a hero to multiple generations of rappers and producers (who have sampled him freely) as well as to pop and indie acts like Tame Impala. Meanwhile, his soundtrack to Disney’s 1999 hit Tarzan introduced his rhythmic flair to a younger audience. He remains one of modern pop’s classic auteurs, a meticulous creator who won’t let even a made-up word (“Sussudio”) keep him from pursuing a left-field idea to its full potential.
HOMETOWNChiswick, London, England
BORNJanuary 30, 1951