Phil Collins health now: He can barely hold drum sticks due to ill health

Phil Collins was perhaps the most successful artist of the 1980s. Records show that Collins had more US top 40 singles than any other artist during that period. Collins made hits that still dominate the airwaves and attract thousands of fans to his concerts. 

Collins and his band, Genesis, recently concluded their final tour in the United States. “I think it probably is putting it to bed,” Collins told CNN. “I think yeah, I think just generally for me, I don’t know if I want to go out on the road anymore.” Phil’s retirement is probably linked to his failing health. 

Phil Collins gained fame for his drumming skills, but he can no longer bang the drums as enthusiastically as he used to. A slate of health problems has plagued Phil Collins, leaving him frail and needing assistance to move about. 

Collins’ health issues started after he suffered a spinal injury in 2007 that caused lasting nerve damage. The nerve damage affected his ability to play drums. He published a message on Genesis’ website saying:

“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.”

Surgery to repair the vertebrae led to the development of a condition called ‘foot drop.’ The illness caused a severe fall in a hotel room that forced Phil to cancel two shows. Phil wears orthopedic shoes, needs a cane to walk, and performs while seated due to ‘foot drop.’ 

Phil revealed in 2017 that he has type 2 diabetes and needed treatment to deal with a diabetic abscess that developed in his foot. Collins also revealed that he suffered from acute pancreatitis due to excessive drinking. He told the press:

“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.”

Collins contributed vocals during his final tour with Genesis. His son, Nic Collins, stepped in to play the drums as Phil’s health doesn’t allow him to play his favored instrument. He told CNN:

“I’d love to but you know, I mean, I can barely hold a stick with this hand. So there are certain physical things that get in the way. I’m kind of physically challenged a bit which is very frustrating because I’d love to be playing up there with my son.”

After Phil suffered nerve damage leading to his inability to play drums, he contemplated suicide. Turmoil in his personal life made a bad situation worse. 

Phil told Rolling Stone that his love for his children prevented him from taking his life. “I wouldn’t blow my head off,” Collins said. “I’d overdose or do something that didn’t hurt. But I wouldn’t do that to the children.”

Collins turned to alcohol to deal with the turmoil in his life. “I didn’t go around rolling drunk,” Phil told The Daily Mail. “But I just started to drink. I used to get up and start drinking and watch the cricket.”

Heavy drinking caused acute pancreatitis, which almost killed Phil. Fortunately, he went into rehab and gave up drinking for three years. 

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