Sammy Nickalls
Updated Mar 13, 2015 @ 2:18 pm

Phil Collins: an amazing British-born singer, drummer, father, and now, an honorary Texan.

That’s right: former Genesis drummer and singer Collins has officially been named “honorary Texan” after he donated his expansive (and awesome) collection of artifacts that are related to the Battle of the Alamo and the Texas Revolution last year. And not just ANY collection—the largest known collection of items like it, according to an Alamo press release. Probably the most random piece of news ever, but also, equally awesome.

The collection included “invaluable artifacts like Jim Bowie’s legendary knife, and one of only four remaining rifles owned by Davy Crockett. Collins has Crockett’s leather shot pouch and two powder horns he allegedly gave a Mexican officer before his death. There are letters from William B. Travis and many other historical documents that shed insight on early Texas history,” according to the press release.

Collins, who is now living in Switzerland (another wow), also wrote a book in 2012 about his collection, entitled The Alamo And Beyond: A Collector’s Journey. “I am enormously pleased and proud to have my collection ‘going home’ to the Alamo,” Collins said in the press release. “It has been, and will continue to be my passion, and I shall continue to gather relics and documents, and forward them so they can be enjoyed.”

Phil, we just think you’re full of wonderful surprises. In honor of your new status as a Texan, here are all the reasons why you rock our world and blows our mind with fun facts.

He has amazing views on heartbreak (and what makes a perfect break-up song)

In a super-honest (and now classic) episode of This American Life, called “Break-Up,” he offered wisdom, as the man behind the best break-up song ever (“Against All Odds,” obvs) about getting over someone you lost.

“There’s various people in your life that you never quite get over. I mean, that’s kind of the cliché. And then, sometimes, with me for example, because of children, you are morally obligated. And you need, because of you want to be with the kids as much as possible, you have to be in touch with this person that has really hurt you. So it’s not like you can just walk away and leave without a trace, because in this instance, there’s a couple of little guys that are looking up to you saying, what am I going to do, Dad?”

Though he’s real about the fact that his divorce was unbelievably difficult for him, he can look back on it and realize that without it, he wouldn’t be where he is now:

“I mean, frankly, if that personal stuff had not happened to me at that time, I probably would never have made an album. And if I was to have made an album, eventually, it would have been more of a jazz/rock thing, because that was what I was actually—that was my output. Apart from Genesis, I was in a band called Brand X. I was a player. So, no. Without that stuff, I wouldn’t have felt the things I felt that made me sit at a piano night after night, day after day writing stuff.”

And the key to turning heartbreak into a perfect pop song (or any other kind of art form)?

“So many people try to fluff things up or disguise them or make them a little bit too clever. But sometimes, it’s the simplest thing that actually reaches people.”

He played drums on a George Harrison album. . .when he was 19

Okay, let me think about what *I* was doing at 19: hanging out with friends and watching way too many TV shows. Yeah, at that age, Phil Collins was busy drumming as a guest on George Harrison’s All Things Must Pass. NO BIG DEAL.

He was an extra in The Beatles movie A Hard Day’s Night when he was wee lass

He gives the best dad advice ever

Phil’s daughter, Lily Collins, opened up to Glamour about their father-daughter relationship: “He’s just letting me do my thing as it happens,” she said. “It’s such a different game now, so he’s just seeing his little girl go out and experience it all, and I think to him that’s the most bizarre, but most amazing thing to see. . . He always said, ‘If you’re passionate about what you’re doing, you know you’re doing it for the right reason,’ so that’s why I’m doing what I’m doing.”


He was the star of a CLASSIC ’80s movie

Oh, yeah, can we talk about that time that he was the leading role in Buster, a movie about one of the thieves from The Great Train Robbery of 1963? Yeah, that was a thing. And it was obvs great, because it was nominated for an Oscar for Best Music (of course) and won four other awards. You go, Phil.

All of his album covers are just perfect close-up shots of his face. Seriously, look.

No crazy graphics or fancy album art for this guy. He just faces the music, head-on.

Oh Phil Collins, love your face. What can’t you do?

Photo via, via, via, via, via