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Phil Collins

When Genesis co-founder and lead vocalist Peter Gabriel announced in 1974 that he was leaving the group, bandmembers auditioned 400 prospective vocalists before deciding to go with their colleague Phil Collins as frontman. Collins had joined the group as drummer a few years earlier, sparking the beginning of its success, but he was already a showbiz veteran, having appeared in an English production of "Oliver!" as a child actor. Upon taking the helm of the band, Collins proceeded to steer it to its greatest success, gradually simplifying its sound and focusing on his distinctive voice. Meanwhile, starting with the release of his first album in 1981, along with its hit single "In the Air Tonight," Collins has gone on to a concurrent solo career that's sometimes eclipsed that of Genesis. His most recent album, Testify, came out in 2002.

Written by: Mary Eisenhart

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