A virtual band, %cGorillaz%, was created by %cBlur%'s %cDamon Albarn% and comic artist Jamie Hewlett in 1998. It consists of four animated members: 2D on lead vocal and keyboard, Murdoc Niccals on bass, Noodle on guitar and Russel Hobbs on drums and percussion.
In 2000, they released a mini album "Tomorrow Comes Today" which was followed by a full-length album "Gorillaz" a year later. One of the most successful tracks which led them to invade U.S. charts was their debut single called "Clint Eastwood". The song also helped them score two nominations of Best British Single and Best British Video at the 2002 BRIT Awards.
During that time, they were rumored to work on a movie project which was abandoned later on because there was no script which was good enough for the group. "We lost all interest in doing it as soon as we started meeting with studios and talking to these Hollywood executive types, we just weren't on the same page," the producer previously said. "We said, 'f**k it, we'll sit on the idea until we can do it ourselves, and maybe even raise the money ourselves.' "
After stepping back from the spotlight for awhile, Gorillaz came back in 2005 with another studio album "Demon Days". They nabbed their first No. 1 album in the U.K. with this record and cracked the top 10 of Billboard 200 by peaking at No.6 on the chart. By the end of the year, it was certified five-time platinum in the U.K., double platinum in the U.S. and triple platinum Down Under.
Following their worldwide success, the band planned to go on a holographic 3-D world tour which was scheduled to be held in 2007 and 2008. They then previewed the gig during performances at the 2005 MTV Europe Music Awards and the 2006 Grammy Awards with the addition of virtual %cMadonna% on the latter show.
But the trek was scrapped later on due to logistical issue. "It was extremely expensive, extremely difficult, a million and one thing can go wrong, every second that the thing's playing. We did that thing at the EMAs. That was a tet of what it could be like," Hawlett said during an interview.
Instead of hitting the road, Gorillaz was busy making a documentary. After almost two years in the making, the film titled "Bananaz" was finally released in 2009. Directed by Ceri Levy, the film covered the antics of the "real musicians" behind the virtual band over the course of seven years. It was screened selectively in 2008 at film festivals.
A year after debuting "Bananaz", the band released a new album "Plastic Beach" on March 9, 2010. It features the likes of %cSnoop Dogg%, %cBobby Womack%, %cMos Def%, %cLou Reed% and %cMike Jones%. The album's lead single "Stylo" had been released months prior to the album release and reached No. 25 on Billboard Alternative Songs chart.
Their fourth studio album "The Fall" was released in December 2010. After almost seven years on hiatus, the band announced their fifth studio album called "Humanz" on March 23, 2017 via Instagram. The track was then released on April 28, 201. Laced with 20 tracks in total, the forthcoming project features some collaborative songs with %cD.R.A.M.%, %cGrace Jones%, %cDanny Brown% and %cPusha T% among others.