What a guy.
He actually started his career with a little-known band called Flaming Youth, a trippy psychedelic band, with a minor hit in Britain called Guide Me Orion. Also had a mangled, hippie retelling of Gustav Holst's "The Planets" on it, with the planets each being little pop song vignettes.
In the early 1970s he became the drummer and background vocalist for Genesis during the Peter Gabriel years. When Gabriel left in 1975, the band shocked the world by announcing that Collins was to become the lead vocalist. Genesis released quite a few albums with Phil doing vocals, and came to their biggest commercial successes with him at the helm (starting in 1980 with the song "Misunderstanding" off of Duke.)
In 1981 he released his first solo album Face Value which is best known for the song "In The Air Tonight". More solo albums in 1982 (Hello, I Must Be Going) and 1985 (No Jacket Required) increased his popularity as a solo artist and also the popularity of Genesis, which released albums in 1981 (Abacab), 1983 (Genesis), and 1986 (Invisible Touch.)
Genesis' last album with Collins was We Can't Dance released in 1991. After that, Phil decided he could make it on his own as a solo artist and has released a bunch of solo albums since then (can you tell I stopped following him?) Most recently he's become a Tool of the Mouse and wrote the songs for the animated movie Tarzan.
Personally, I think his first 2 solo albums were brilliant, the next okay, and then after that has been a steady slide into mediocrity.