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Phil Collins Returns to the Stage

Legendary British solo artist and lead singer of Genesis Phil Collins has made it official – he's coming out of retirement. Collins' last album was 2002's Testify.

According to an article in Rolling Stone Magazine, family was a big reason for the decision.

“My kids are now 10 and 14 and they want to see what their dad does," said Collins in the Rolling Stone article. "They were in nappies when I was last on the road. They love my music and I'd like to take them out so they can enjoy it."

Phil Collins has written many familiar songs, including Against All Odds, Easy Lover, and Take Me Home.

While his music is loved by millions, many people may not be aware that Collins has been dealing with hearing loss for a long time. We reported on his story in a Connect Hearing article called “Phil Collins Drums up for the Fight Against Hearing Loss”.

"At the time, I was recording in the States and had spent the day singing in the studio. Then I collected my daughter from school. We got home, had something to eat, played a video game. Then suddenly my ear went sssssssshh. Within a second my left ear simply closed down. As if I had been under water. I tried to clear it by pinching my nose,” he said.

Collins was diagnosed with a condition that causes inadequate blood flow to the ear, which was caused by stress. The condition often manifests as vertigo, tinnitus, imbalance, deafness and nausea. The symptoms were severe enough that the 61-year-old singer-songwriter, drummer, pianist and sometimes actor was forced to stop touring live and to re-examine his lifestyle. "Although I’m not a deeply religious person, it seems like God — whoever He may be — slapped me on the ear and said: 'Will you finally hit the brakes and slow down?! Take this as a warning and take things easier from now on.'"

Phil Collins isn't the only musician who has had to confront the reality of hearing loss. In 1991, Neil Young & Crazy Horse, released a live concert album titled "Weld." However, while mixing the live rock and roll album, Young claims that it affected his hearing.

“That's why I really regret it. I hurt my ears and they'll never be the same again," says Young, who has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice, in 1995 as a solo performer and also in 1997 as a member of Buffalo Springfield.

Since the production of "Weld", Young has taken steps to protect his hearing from further damage. In a Connect Hearing article entitled “Neil Young Knows when the Damage was Done to his Hearing,”

Young explained that he still sensitive to loud sounds.

“I made 'Harvest Moon' because I didn't want to hear any loud sounds. I still have a little bit of tinnitus but fortunately now I'm not as sensitive to loud sounds as I was for a year after the mixing of 'Weld'," he said. "My hearing's not perfect but it's OK.”

Musician Eric Clapton is another musician who learned about the danger of hearing loss the hard way. In a Connect Hearing article entitled “Eric Clapton has Lived Hard, Rocked Hard, and is now Hard of Hearing”, Clapton says he would ramp up the volume even in the studio and would declare “That’s the way I play” when anyone complained.

“I started using Fender Deluxe Reverb amps and 50-watt Marshalls around '97, after I started having some problems with tinnitus. It was my own doing — being irresponsible and thinking I was invincible ... Yes, though it has been better lately. Take care and wear plugs.”

According to Rolling Stone, Collins medical issues date back to 2000 when he lost almost all hearing in his left ear. The magazine says the drumming he did on the 2007 Genesis reunion tour led to a dislocated vertebra in his neck that caused nerve damage in his hands, ultimately leaving him unable to play the drums.

None of that is going to stop Collins on his comeback, who is looking forward to working solo. Rolling Stone asked Collins if a return to Genesis was possible, but he wasn't giving away any secrets.

"Let's start with this [solo] bit first," he said. "I love the guys. I would just prefer to do this first. For now, let's just see how this goes."

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