Phil Collins health: what illness does Genesis star have, how old is he, as band performs final ever concert

Phil Collins, who is the father of Emily in Paris actor Lily Collins, bid farewell to fans as he performed his final live show at London’s O2 Arena

Phil Collins is “much more immobile than he used to be”, Mike Rutherford has said.

Former bandmate Rutherford gave fans an update on Collins’ health after the Genesis drummer retired from playing with the band. Collins suffered a spinal injury in 2007.

Rutherford said: “He’s much more immobile than he used to be, which is a shame, but at the tour he was in good spirits. He’s fine now, at home, enjoying life. He’s worked so hard over the years. I think he’s enjoying his time at home.”

Collins, 71, played his final concert with Genesis at the O2 Arena in London in March 2022 where he bid farewell to fans, telling the crowd he will now have to get a real job.

The Genesis star has been plagued by health issues for more than a decade (Photo: Getty Images)The Genesis star has been plagued by health issues for more than a decade (Photo: Getty Images)
The Genesis star has been plagued by health issues for more than a decade (Photo: Getty Images)

The band, which includes keyboardist Tony Banks and guitarist-bassist Mike Rutherford, delighted rock fans when they reunited for their tour, The Last Domino?, last year - their first tour since 2007.

Genesis toured the UK in 2021, visiting venues in Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds, Newcastle and Liverpool, but was forced to postpone three shows in London due to Covid.

Collins sparked concern among fans during the tour after appearing quite frail, with the singer forced to perform while sitting down on a chair.

He has been battling with health issues for more than a decade and now cuts a weak figure, relying on a walking stick and a wheelchair to get around.

What illness does Phil Collins have?

Collins has been plagued by a number of health issues over the last 10 years, beginning with an injured vertebrae in his upper neck in 2009. He sustained the injury while he was performing and it left him with crippling nerve damage in his hands.

He underwent surgery to repair the vertebrae, but he lost feeling in his fingers and could only grip drumsticks if they were taped to his hands. The injury soon left him unable to continue playing the drums that made him a star.

In a message published on the Genesis website at the time, Collins explained: "Somehow, during the last Genesis tour, I dislocated some vertebrae in my upper neck and that affected my hands. After a successful operation on my neck, my hands still can’t function normally. Maybe in a year or so it will change, but for now it is impossible for me to play drums or piano."

Collins now uses a cane to assist with walking (Photo: Getty Images)Collins now uses a cane to assist with walking (Photo: Getty Images)
Collins now uses a cane to assist with walking (Photo: Getty Images)

In his 2016 autobiography, Collins explained that he had struggled with an alcohol problem following his retirement and his divorce from his third wife, adding that he had been sober for three years. The following year, he revealed that he is a type 2 diabetic and had received treatment with a hyperbaric chamber after developing a diabetic abscess on his foot which became infected.

In 2017, the singer was forced to cancel two shows after slipping in his hotel room during the night and hitting his head on a chair, resulting in stitches for a severe cut close to his eye. The fall was caused by ‘foot drop’, a condition which Collins developed after his back operation and now sees him wearing orthopedic shoes.

He now uses a cane to assist with walking and performed on stage while sitting in a chair.

Collins also suffers from acute pancreatitis, which sees the pancreas become inflamed and swollen over a short period of time.

Speaking about the condition at a press conference in 2016, he explained: “Within months you’re drinking vodka from the fridge in the morning and falling over in front of the kids, you know. But it was something I lived through, and I was lucky to live through it and get through it. I was very close to dying."

Who is his daughter?

Collins is the father of actress Lily Collins, star of the comedy-drama TV series, Emily In Paris. Lily, 32, is also known for her work in films including Mirror Mirror, Love, Rosie, and the TV adaptation of Les Miserables.

She was born in Guildford, Surrey, but moved to the US as a child after her parents divorced. The actress revealed that she married filmmaker Charlie McDowell on Saturday (4 September), sharing a picture of herself kissing her new husband on Instagram.

The star wrote: “I’ve never wanted to be someone’s someone more than I do yours, and now I get to be your wife. On September 4th, 2021 we officially became each other’s forever. I love you beyond @charliemcdowell…⁣”

Will Phil Collins continue touring?

Collins previously confirmed that this current tour was likely to be his last as he continues to battle health issues. The star was in high spirits during the final show at London’s O2 on Saturday, despite the emotional nature of the night.

He told the crowd: “It’s the last stop of our tour, and it’s the last show for Genesis. After tonight we all have to get real jobs.”

His actress daughter Lily was at the venue to support her father on the significant night, sharing a picture of herself perched on some tour equipment backstage.

In the caption, she wrote: “Tonite marks the end of an era. To have witnessed this last show was truly the memory of a lifetime and an event I shall hold in my heart forever. Endlessly grateful doesn’t begin to do it justice.

“So much love was left on that O2 stage and an even bigger amount shared between an audience who didn’t want it to end.

“Thank you @genesis_band for the memories, thank you dad for being such an inspiration and thank you @nic_collins for making me the proudest sister there is. 50 years of songs later and still generations more to celebrate you long after this tour has finished…”