Gorillaz was created by Blur frontman Damon Albarn and comic book artist Jamie Hewlett in 1998 as a way of breaking free from the lack of substance they saw in the music industry. Their animated band was designed to deliver fresh and different sounds, while also telling dark and twisted stories on a wide array of mediums from music videos and online games to fake radio programmes, short stories and much more. Ultimately it has encompassed a whole fictional universe and been named by Guinness World Records as the planet’s Most Successful Virtual Act.
Gorillaz consists of four animated band members: singer Stuart “2D” Pot, bassist Murdoc Niccals, guitarist Noodle and drummer Russel Hobbs.
Their eponymous debut album came out in 2001 featuring Clint Eastwood for which Gorillaz received the 2001 MTV Europe Music Award for Best Song. Their 2005 follow-up Demon Days with the lead single Feel Good Inc was also critically acclaimed and landed them a slew of awards – from the Danish Music Award for International Album to their only Grammy for Best Pop Collaboration With Vocals.
Gorillaz released the albums Plastic Beach in 2010, The Fall in 2011, Humanz in 2017 and The Now Now in 2018 – all continuing their effortless fusion of styles and influences ranging from hip hop beats, Britpop and indie rock to electronic and orchestral sounds. Their songs also feature an array of vocals thanks to collaborations with the everyone from Snoop Dogg, De La Soul and Lou Reed to Grace Jones, Bobby Womack and many others.
Although Albarn is the main musical contributor, Remi Kabaka Jr became the producer and third permanent member of Gorillaz in 2016 after providing the voice of Hobbs for several years.
Along with ground-breaking music, stunning comic book visuals, 3-D animation and live action footage, Gorillaz have become a global sensation over the years, touring the world and playing shows from San Diego to Damascus, Syria.
In early 2020, they unveiled the audiovisual series Song Machine, consisting of singles and music videos that came out monthly as episodes. This led to the release of their seventh album, Song Machine, Season One: Strange Timez, on 23 October 2020 and the announcement of a four-city European tour that includes a date in London on 11 August 2021.
On 25 October 2020, Gorillaz joined forces with Beck to perform the collaboration The Valley Of The Pagans virtually on the Animal Crossing talk show with Gary Whitta. The band are also set to celebrate the release of their new album with a global live stream – three performances across three different time zones – direct from London on 12 and 13 December 2020.
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