Phil Collins, the legendary musician and one of the most successful artists of all time, recently bid a heartfelt farewell to his devoted fans in an emotional final concert at London’s O2.
With a career that spanned four decades, he stood shoulder-to-shoulder with big hitters like Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson in terms of records sold, leaving an indelible mark on the music industry.
During the final show, Phil Collins was joined on stage by his Genesis bandmates, Mike Rutherford and Tony Banks, as they reunited for their ‘The Last Domino?’ Tour.
The tour had been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and it marked the band’s first return to live performances after a 14-year hiatus.
Amid ongoing health issues, Phil Collins has faced challenges that have affected his ability to perform. In April 2009, he underwent surgery to repair dislocated vertebrae in his upper neck, which he sustained while drumming during the 2007 Genesis tour.
The surgery left him with nerve damage in his left hand, leading to the loss of feeling in his fingers. Since 2015, he has been using a cane to aid his mobility.
The toll of his health issues took a toll on his mental well-being, with feelings of depression and low self-worth. Despite these hardships, he continued to perform with the support of his son, Nicholas Collins, who took over drumming duties.
With the curtain falling on his touring days, Phil Collins hinted that it might be his last time on the road. Physical limitations posed significant challenges, leading him to contemplate retirement from the rigors of touring.
Throughout his illustrious career, Phil Collins achieved fame both as a drummer and as the lead singer of Genesis. His journey into the band was serendipitous; he responded to a newspaper ad looking for a drummer, and after securing the job, Genesis’s fortunes soared with Collins at the helm.
Transitioning from drummer to lead singer was a daunting prospect for Phil Collins. The experience was both liberating and unnerving, as he left the comfort of his drum kit to command the stage with just a microphone stand. The band’s sound changed with him as the lead vocalist, and the adjustment brought with it challenges.
After Genesis, Phil Collins embarked on a solo career that propelled him to even greater heights of success. His popularity soared in the ’80s, and he became one of the decade’s most influential pop singers. Notably, he garnered attention for his philanthropic efforts, performing at two fundraising shows for Africa’s famine relief within hours of each other – Live Aid at Wembley Stadium and a benefit in Philadelphia.
Beyond music, Phil Collins dabbled in acting, appearing in Miami Vice and taking on the lead role in the movie Buster, which revolved around the Great Train Robbery. The movie’s soundtrack featured two chart-topping singles from Collins.
Despite his impressive achievements, Phil Collins remains humble about his approach to performing. He admitted that he doesn’t practice at home, relying on rehearsals as his way of preparing for shows. Health challenges necessitated some changes to his performances, including sitting down during shows, but his fans remained devoted and appreciative of his talent.
As the curtain fell on his final show, the music world stood still in appreciation of the incredible career and indomitable spirit of Phil Collins, whose music will continue to resonate with audiences for generations to come.