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Phil Collins Performs For Charity

GENEVA (Reuters) - British singer and songwriter Phil Collins will perform in Geneva Saturday to raise funds for a charity foundation he and his Swiss wife Orianne set up to help aspiring entertainers and athletes.
Collins, who lives in a village in the wine-growing region of western Switzerland, also said he would release a new album by the end of the summer. It would be ``far more experimental'' as for the first time he used a computer for composing and mixing.
But the former Genesis drummer and lead singer conceded that deafness in his left ear, following a viral infection more than a year ago, was a handicap.
Collins and his third wife, who runs a public relations company, set up the Little Dreams Foundation to provide professional support and financing for youths aged four to 16 hoping to make a breakthrough in music, cinema, or sport.
``A lot of people don't come from wealthy families... Therefore that talent ends up being unheard,'' Collins said in an interview with World Radio Geneva.
``The idea is funding them so they can go to music college if they want to be a musician or get equipment if they want to be an athlete,'' he added.
At the ``Unplugged'' concert, the foundation's first event, Collins will perform with Melody Perret, a 16-year-old Swiss girl. She is among the first to be sponsored by the foundation which will soon have eight to 10 proteges, a spokeswoman said.
Former Swiss skier Erika Hess, French actor Christophe Lambert, French tennis players Henri Leconte and Arnaud Boetsch, Swiss Olympic cyclist Pascal Richard and British round-the-world balloonist Brian Jones are among the foundation's ``godfathers.''
``Orianne is the driving force behind the foundation, she puts a lot into it,'' a source close to the board told Reuters. ''We're going to do more events in Europe.''
Last April, at age 50, Collins became a father for the fourth time when Orianne, who is more than 20 years younger, gave birth to their son Nicholas. The pair married in July 1999.
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