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The return with Genesis, millionaire divorces and his dirty reputation: Phil Collins turns 70

In the picture, the British singer Phil Collins.  EFE / Clemens Bilan / Archive
In the picture, the British singer Phil Collins. EFE / Clemens Bilan / Archive

With $ 50 in hand you can start dreaming of acquiring a gold record from Phil Collins, one of those that was earned after having sold more than 100 million copies. On February 4, at an auction where there will also be “assorted prizes” from the British musician, his last ex-wife, Orianne Cevey, he will expose the loot he got (after the divorce) at ridiculous prices. These are not good times for Collins, who also had to postpone the meeting with Genesis, the group with whom he was finally going to meet again after 14 years. As he celebrates his 70th birthday, Phil battles his health issues and moves on.

Orianne Cevey was the worst thing that could have happened to Phil Collins in recent years. Before launching the humiliating auction, the Swiss-born woman had to be evicted from the Miami home she once shared with her ex and where she ended up living with her new husband. When he left, he took all the items he now offers to the highest bidder for a few dollars. In addition, Cevey has his Chanel clothes, jewelry, watches and footwear for sale. The proceeds would go to the Never Give Up Foundation, which helps victims of spinal cord injuries. Although the background of the story suggests that the real victim is Collins.

“Don’t Lose My Number”, Phil Collins

This jewelry designer met Phil Collins in 1994, when she worked as a translator for the musician during a tour of Switzerland. She was 21 and he was 43, they fell in love and from then on everything was a crush, passion, children and fights. In that order. They got engaged three years after meeting and finally married in 1999. In 2006, they began the proceedings for a divorce that ended two years later with 25 million pounds at stake and that they finally ended up in her coffers. By then, Orianne was already dating investment banker Charles Fouad Mejjati, whom she later married, shortly after her divorce from Collins. But as if nothing had happened, in 2016 the Swiss and the British were back together and reunited under the same roof with their children Nicholas Y Matthew Collins, and also with Andrea Mejjati, fruit of that short marriage of her with the banker.

In August of last year, Cevey surprised Collins again and married 31-year-old businessman Thomas Bates on a getaway to Las Vegas that promised to be a business trip. The British press assured that she would have sent a text message to the musician telling him that she had found a new love. And it is with this new love that he entrenched himself in the Miami house, while Phil Collins once again suspended the tour that was going to have him at the helm of Genesis at last, after so many years of standing. The woman, desperate to get the Collins mansion, had no qualms about declaring that the father of his children brushed his teeth once a year, rarely bathed and had become a hermit. Orianne took the money and the pride again. And Phil was running out of tour.

Originally, Genesis had confirmed a return tour for 2020, it was going to be the first in 13 years, but it is already 14 and the meeting continues to be seen. Before the pandemic began, Collins along with his colleagues Tony Banks and Mike Rutherford had announced that they were returning, on a program on BBC Radio in London. At that time, they announced that this tour was going to consist of a series of shows throughout the United Kingdom from the second half of 2020. There they also announced that Phil’s son, Nicholas Collins -the drummer would join this almost original line-up. 19-year-old who follows in the footsteps of his father- and a house friend, guitarist and bassist Daryl Stuermer. The unconquerable would be missing Peter Gabriel who left the group in 1975 and is not going crazy, at least for now, and another ex, the guitarist Steve Hackett, which would not have even been summoned.

“I Can´t Dance”, Genesis

The group that emerged in 1967 from a friendship of schoolchildren in Surrey, England, transcended thanks to the exquisiteness of their music embodied in classics such as “Invisible Touch”, “Throwing It All Away” Y “I Can’t Dance”. Collins joined in in 1970 as a drummer and became lead vocals when Gabriel left a few years later. In 1996 Phil left his peers to make his way as a soloist, also with great success. There was a halt in 2007 when Genesis reunited on stage again, as part of the celebration for the 40th anniversary of the Turn It On Again tour. And after so much pause, this reunion was coming.

In recent years, the musician’s public appearances have been somewhat sad: he could be seen walking with difficulty, helped by a cane, and with a terrible face. In his 2016 memoir I’m Not Dead Yet, Collins opened his heart and recounted that he had become an alcoholic after drinking industrial amounts of alcohol and that he was going deaf. “I hear nothing. No matter how hard I try to break it down, the blockage in my right ear doesn’t go away. I try to poke around with a cotton swab. I know it is advised not to: the eardrum is sensitive, especially if it has been subjected to a lifetime after the battery. But I am desperate. My right ear is kaput. And that’s my good ear, because my left ear has been bugged for a decade. That is all? Has the music finally finished me? Have I definitely gone deaf? “he says in the foreword to his book.

The musician not only lost 60 percent of his hearing, but also had difficulty singing with an increasingly weak voice, he suffered from calcification in his vertebrae and serious problems with the nerves in his elbows that left him unable to lift a toothpick. But in 2018, he was encouraged to say that he would get on stage again if his son occupied the drummer’s bench, he was already unable to do so. Getting away from the patches must have been one of the great causes of his discomfort, he who had his first drum at the age of three as a Christmas gift and who at five was playing an improvised drums made of pipes and cans of cookies, could no longer do it more. But being close to the public is still his north: He started as an advertising model as a child and was a stage actor in adolescence. Phil Collins is an artist and lives off the applause.

“Jesus He Knows Me”, Genesis

His performance as a parent has also been under scrutiny. With his first wife, Andrea Bertorelli, Phil became the father of Joely, her natural daughter, and then together they had Simon. Although both have devoted themselves to acting and music, respectively, the most famous of their children is Lily Collins, fruit of his second marriage. The mother of Phil’s third daughter is Jill Tavelman, who after divorcing left the United Kingdom and moved with the girl to Los Angeles. In that city, Lily grew up very close to show business and, although she studied journalism and came to practice, she has been inclined towards acting, a career with which she obtained very good results. His latest achievement is the starring role in Emily in Paris, one of Netflix’s most watched series in 2020. The father-daughter relationship is revealed in the autobiographical book No Filters: No Shame, No Regrets. Only me (2017) that the actress published: “I forgive you for not having always been there when I have needed you and for not being the father I expected. I forgive you for the mistakes you have made. And although it seems like it is too late, it is not. There is still a lot of time to move on ”.

Phil Collins turns 70 this Saturday, January 30 and continues to prepare to return with everything, despite everything. The Genesis dates were rescheduled and if the pandemic comes to an end, The Last Domino? 2021 will begin in Dublin, Ireland, on September 15 and will end in London on October 13.

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Kim Diaz

Kim recently joined the team, and she writes for the Headline column of the website. She has done major in English, and a having a diploma in Journalism.

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