EXCLUSIVE: Phil Collins talks alcohol-addled past: 'It was killing me'

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Phil Collins is opening up about his battle with the bottle that almost cost him his life.

After an illustrious career, which earned him seven GRAMMY awards, two Golden Globes, an Oscar and a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction, Collins announced his retirement from music in 2011 at 60 years old. With more time on his hands than ever before, the singer-songwriter turned to the bottle to occupy his days.

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"I put the brakes on, which is like an oil tanker, it takes a long time to stop," Collins tells ET's Jennifer Peros. "I kind of enjoyed not having to do anything -- turn on some TV, watch some sports. Then you're turning on the TV a little earlier, having a glass of wine a little earlier. Then the wine becomes vodka, and then suddenly, you're killing yourself."

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UNITED KINGDOM - JANUARY 01: Photo of Phil COLLINS; Phil Collins as a child playing drums (Photo by Ron Howard/Redferns)
UNITED KINGDOM - JANUARY 01: Photo of Phil COLLINS; Phil Collins as a young man posed portrait (Photo by Ron Howard/Redferns)
UNITED KINGDOM - JANUARY 01: Photo of PHIL COLLINS; LONDON 1977 (Photo by Dick Barnatt/Redferns)
EDINBURGH, UNITED KINGDOM - JANUARY 14: Phil Collins of Genesis performs on stage at the Playhouse Theatre in Edinburgh, Scotland, on January 14th, 1977. (Photo by Peter Still/Redferns)
NEW YORK - MARCH 25: Phil Collins of rock group Genesis at photo shoot in New York City photo studio of photographer Waring Abbott, on March 25, 1976. (Photo by Waring Abbott/Getty Images)
1984: Pop singer Phil Collins records a music video in circa 1984. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
Phil Collins of Genesis during Genesis in 1981 Concert at The Spectrum in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic, Inc)
UNITED KINGDOM - JANUARY 01: Photo of Phil COLLINS (Photo by Ian Dickson/Redferns)
Phil Collins during 1989 MTV Video Music Awards in Los Angeles, California, United States. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic, Inc)
Phil Collins Bei 'Rsh Gold Verleihung' In Kiel 010297 . (Photo by Franziska Krug/Getty Images)
(GERMANY OUT) lins, Phil *30.01.1951-Musiker, GBSolokuenstler und Frontmann der Gruppe 'Genesis'- bei einem Konzertauftritt (Photo by POP-EYE/ullstein bild via Getty Images)
Phil Collins during The 72nd Annual Academy Awards - Vanity Fair Party at Morton's in Los Angeles, California, United States. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic, Inc)
NEW YORK - OCTOBER 20: (TABS AND HOLLYWOOD REPORTER OUT) Musician Phil Collins performs after the Walt Disney Pictures premiere of 'Brother Bear' at the New Amsterdam Theater October 20, 2003 in New York City. (Photo by Mark Mainz/Getty Images)
ANAHEIM, CA - AUGUST 26: Recording artist Phil Collins performs during his concert at The Arrowhead Pond on August 26, 2004 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images).
NEW YORK - MAY 08: Singer Phil Collins attends The Actors Fund of America annual gala at Cipriani's 42nd street on May 8, 2006 in New York City. (Photo by Peter Kramer/Getty Images)
Phil Collins during The Andre Agassi Charitable Foundation's 11th Annual Grand Slam for Children Fundraiser - Show at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, United States. (Photo by Denise Truscello/WireImage)
Phil Collins of Genesis during Genesis Announces 'Turn It On Again' Tour Dates at Providence in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage for CPI Canada)
(GERMANY OUT) Genesis; Musikgruppe, Popmusik; GB; Saenger Phil Collins; Auftritt im Olympiastadion Berlin (Photo by Dagmar Scherf/ullstein bild via Getty Images)
UNSPECIFIED - JANUARY 01: Photo of Phil COLLINS; Posed portrait of Phil Collins (Photo by Des Willie/Redferns)
Phil Collins, 'Mickys Fantastisches Fest' zugunsten 'Ein Herz für Kinder', 'Disneyland Resort Paris', Walt Disney Studios, Frankreich, Europa, Freizeitpark, Vergnügungspark, Micky-Ohren, Micky-Ohren-Ausstellung, Musiker, Sänger, Pop-Star, DR, FTP; (Photo by Peter Bischoff/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - JUNE 23: Musician Phil Collins performs at Roseland Ballroom on June 23, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)
Phil Collins performs onstage during the 41st Annual Songwriters Hall of Fame Ceremony at The New York Marriott Marquis on June 17, 2010 in New York City.
NEW YORK,NY - APRIL 5: Recording Artist Phil Collins smiles for the camera while watching the New York Knicks against the Philadelphia 76ers at Madison Square Garden on April 5, 2015 in New York, New York NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2015 NBAE (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)
DEERFIELD BEACH FL - JUNE 20: Phil Collins speaks during the Little Dreams Foundation auditions at Markee Studios on June 20, 2015 in Deerfield Beach, Florida. (Photo by Larry Marano/Getty Images)
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The now 65-year-old "In the Air Tonight" singer had a dramatic wake-up call when his drinking resulted in a trip to the hospital.

"I was in intensive care," the former Genesis drummer recalls. "I was in a hospital with tubes sticking out of my neck and on my back with constant bleeping machines, and that was awful."

Collins details this scary moment in his life in his new memoir, Not Dead Yet. In the book, the music icon says that he did do a short stint in rehab, but quickly decided it wasn't for him. Today, he's happy to report that he's able to drink responsibly and in moderation.

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"I didn't drink for three years," Collins says. "Now, I'm capable of having a couple of glasses of wine. I personally do not believe I was an alcoholic. I had a problem with alcohol. I didn't have anything else to do, and I enjoyed it. But when I had to stop because it was killing me, I stopped."

Now that he's healthy again, Collins has returned to music. After announcing that he is "no longer officially retired" in 2015, Collins has booked a nine-date European tour, launching June 4.

Not Dead Yet: The Memoir hits shelves Tuesday. The Singles, a collection of Collins' hit songs, is out now.

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