Phil Collins Speaks Out About 'Retirement' Reports

In a message posted to his officlal website, British singer, drummer and actor Phil Collins says reports of his retirement have painted "a picture of me that is more than a little distorted."

Media reports in recent days have given conflicting accounts of Collins' intentions, with some saying he has retired and others denying it. "Why they were printed at all is a mystery, as I haven't spoken to anybody in the press for a few months," wrote the 60-year-old from London. In a bid to set the record straight, he said he was not quitting due to bad reviews, poor treatment by the press, because he did not fit in or because he felt unloved.

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"I am stopping so I can be a full-time father to my two young sons on a daily basis," Collins added. "Some of the things mentioned above have been said by me in various interviews, but said as asides with a smile on my face and in passing. They were not meant to be 'headlines', they were small parts of a conversation. This clearly doesn't come over in print and I should know better."

Collins has expressed this disinterest in making new music before: in October, he told, "I'm not anticipating doing anything else. If I do write songs...I don't know about putting them out on an album or anything like that. I don't really have the desire to do that now."

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In his letter, Collins says that some of the press coverage had portrayed him as a "tormented weirdo," but he reassured fans there was "no need for the straitjacket." He made no mention of reports that health problems, including nerve damage in his hands, had forced him to retire.

Collins, who has enjoyed international chart success both as a solo artist and with the band Genesis, has won multiple Grammy awards, an Academy Award for his soundtrack to the film "Tarzan. "sold an estimated 100 million albums as a solo artist. Genesis is estimated to have sold around 150 million albums.

(Reporting by Mike Collett-White; Editing by Steve Addison; additional reporting and editing by Monica Herrera,

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