definition of Wikipedia
||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. Please help by adding reliable sources. Contentious material about living persons that is unsourced or poorly sourced must be removed immediately, especially if potentially libelous or harmful. (February 2012)|
23 March 1968 |
Whitechapel, London, England
|Genres||Alternative rock, art rock, alternative hip hop, electronic, trip hop, baroque music, Britpop|
|Occupations||Musician, singer-songwriter, record producer, composer|
|Instruments||Vocals, piano, guitar, bass guitar, organ, violin, omnichord, recorder, vibraphone, synthesizer, melodica, harmonium, drums, keyboards|
|Labels||Food, SBK, Virgin, Parlophone, Honest Jon's|
|Associated acts||Blur, Gorillaz, The Good, the Bad & the Queen, The Black Ghosts, Rocket Juice & the Moon, Massive Attack, De La Soul, Kano|
Damon Albarn (/ /; born 23 March 1968) is an English musician, singer-songwriter and record producer who has been involved in many high profile projects, coming to prominence as the frontman and primary songwriter of the Britpop band Blur. Albarn's current role is lead vocalist and songwriter of Gorillaz, whose first two studio albums had sold more than 20 million copies combined by 2007. Albarn has also led projects such as The Good, the Bad & the Queen, Monkey: Journey to the West, Mali Music and Rocket Juice & the Moon. Albarn has released multiple singles and albums which have charted at number one, both in the UK and internationally.
He played guitar and violin. When he was 9 years old he moved for three months to Turkey, with his parents. When he was aged 12, he became friends with Graham Coxon, a fellow pupil at Stanway School.
He studied acting at the East 15 Acting School in Debden, leaving after the first year. On leaving drama school he worked as a tea boy at the Beat Factory studio. His first band was the synth pop group, Two's a Crowd. Before Blur, he played with The Aftermath and Real Lives.
Albarn's father, Keith Albarn, was the manager of Soft Machine and presenter of the BBC's Late Night Line-Up. Keith Albarn was the head of North Essex College of Art, which later became Colchester Institute. Albarn's mother, Hazel, was a theatrical set designer. He has a sister, Jessica (born 1971).
Blur are an English alternative rock band. Formed in London in 1989 as Seymour, the group consists of singer Damon Albarn, guitarist Graham Coxon, bassist Alex James and drummer Dave Rowntree. Blur's debut album Leisure (1991) incorporated the sounds of Madchester and shoegazing. Following a stylistic change—influenced by English guitar pop groups such as The Kinks, The Beatles and XTC—Blur released the Modern Life is Rubbish (1993), Parklife (1994) and The Great Escape (1995) albums. As a result, the band helped to popularise the Britpop genre and achieved mass popularity in the UK, aided by a famous chart battle with rival band Oasis dubbed "The Battle of Britpop".
In recording their follow-up, Blur (1997), the band underwent another reinvention, influenced by the lo-fi style of American indie rock bands such as Pavement. "Song 2", one of the album's singles, brought Blur brief mainstream success in the US. The last album featuring Blur's original line-up, 13 (1999) found the band members experimenting with electronic music and gospel music, as Albarn wrote more personal lyrics. In May 2002, Coxon left Blur during the recording of their seventh album Think Tank (2003). Containing electronic sounds and more minimal guitar work, the album was marked by Albarn's growing interest in hip hop and African music. After a 2003 tour without Coxon, Blur did no studio work or touring as a band, as members engaged in other projects. Subsequently, Blur reunited in 2009 with Coxon back in the fold. Following a series of successful concerts, Blur left the spotlight until they released their first single in a decade by the original line-up, called "Fool's Day". On 21 February 2012, Blur were awarded the Outstanding Contribution to Music award at the Brits. They went on to perform five tracks: "Girls & Boys", "Song 2", "Parklife", "Tender" and "This Is a Low". Blur will headline at Hyde Park, with New Order and The Specials, to celebrate the closing of the 2012 Summer Olympics on 12 August 2012.
Gorillaz is a virtual band composed of four animated band members created in 1998 by Albarn and Jamie Hewlett, co-creator of the comic book Tank Girl. The band's music is a collaboration between various musicians, Albarn being the only permanent musical contributor. Their style is broadly alternative rock, but with a large number of other influences including Britpop, dub, hip-hop, and pop music. In 2001, the band's eponymous debut album sold over seven million copies, and featured hits such as the songs "19-2000" and "Clint Eastwood," earning them an entry in the Guinness Book of World Records as the Most Successful Virtual Band. It was nominated for the Mercury Prize 2001, but the nomination was later withdrawn at the band's request.
Their second studio album, Demon Days, was released in 2005 and included the singles "Feel Good Inc.", "Dare", "Dirty Harry" and "Kids With Guns"/"El Mañana". Demon Days went five times platinum in the UK, double platinum in the United States and earned five Grammy Award nominations for 2006 and won one of them in the Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals category. In November 2005, they staged the first-ever live performances of Demon Days Live involving many of the artists who had played on the successful Demon Days album, as a launch event for the festival. Gorillaz have also released two B-sides compilations and a remix album. The combined sales of Gorillaz and Demon Days had, by 2007, exceeded 15 million albums.
Gorillaz released their third studio album, Plastic Beach in early 2010, which was received with high praise. In December 2010, the group released an album called The Fall which was recorded over 32 days during their North American tour. The band also appeared on the Snoop Dogg track: "Sumthing' Like this Night" on his album: "Doggumentary".
During November, Gorillaz announced that on 23 February 2012, Gorillaz will release a new line of Converse sneakers designed by Jamie Hewlett. The selection of footwear is carried at Journeys stores in the US and Schuh stores in the UK. Gorillaz will release a new one off single to accompany with the release of these shoes as a part of Converse's "Three Artists, One Song" campaign. On 9 February 2012, Gorillaz confirmed that the single will be called "DoYaThing", and that the two collaborators working on this single will be James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem and Andre 3000 of Outkast. 2D will rap for the first two verses, James Murphy will sing the chorus, and Andre 3000 then overtakes the rest of the track with another rap verse. The track is available for free download in Journeys stores by scanning the QR Code on display items. There will also be an explicit, 12 Minute long version of the single released on a later date. It has also been confirmed that Jamie Hewlett is working on a new Music Video for this single, featuring animated versions of the two collaborators on this track. Murdoc also stated that the music video will feature the Gorillaz' new HQ, for which they have abandoned Plastic Beach.
In a recent interview, Albarn talked about the unlikelihood of any future releases from the Gorillaz. His relationship with artist Jamie Hewlett soured when Albarn chose to undercut the role of animation on their Plastic Beach Tour. 
He also released Democrazy in 2003, a collection of demos he recorded while staying in hotel rooms on the U.S. portion of Blur's tour for Think Tank.
In late 2011 Damon Albarn confirmed he is recording a solo album under his name, inspired by "empty club music".
Collaborating with producers Dan the Automator, XL Recordings, Richard Russell & Rodiadh McDonald, Jneiro Jarel, DJ Darren Cunningham aka Actress, Marc Antoine, Alwest, Remi Kabaka Jr., Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs and Kwes, Damon Albarn went to Kinshasa for one week to record an album called Kinshasa One Two. The Congolese band Tout Puissant Mukalo joined them as well. All proceeds will benefit Oxfam's work in the DRC. The album was released by Warp Records. 
In May 2006, NME reported that Albarn was working with Danger Mouse on his first solo album, tentatively titled The Good, the Bad & the Queen. However, in July 2006, NME Music reported that those plans had been switched to the formation of a new band titled The Good, the Bad & the Queen. This proved to be inaccurate, as Albarn and other members of the group have indicated that The Good, the Bad & the Queen is the name of the album and not the band itself. The album was awarded Best Album at the 2007 MOJO Awards on 18 June.
The group's line-up is composed of Albarn, former Clash bassist Paul Simonon, The Verve/Gorillaz guitarist Simon Tong, and drummer Tony Allen of Fela Kuti's band, The Africa '70. Danger Mouse produced the album and decided on the final track listing.
The first single by the line-up, "Herculean", was released in late October 2006, and peaked at No. 22 in the UK Singles Chart. A second single, "Kingdom of Doom", and the band's debut album were then released in January 2007. That single fared slightly better than "Herculean", peaking at No. 20, while the album peaked at No. 2 in the UK Albums Chart and went gold during its first week of release in the UK. "Green Fields" was released as the third single from the album in April 2007, just missing out on the Top 50.
On 27 April 2008, The Good, the Bad & the Queen headlined the Love Music Hate Racism Carnival in Victoria Park where they introduced on stage several guests including ex-Specials keyboard player Jerry Dammers. He also worked with Syrian rapper and friend Eslam Jawaad on the song "Mr. Whippy", though the song does not appear on the album it is a B-Side on the Herculean single.
Rocket Juice & the Moon is the title of Albarn's new side-project featuring Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea and afrobeat legend Tony Allen. Albarn has stated that he is not responsible for the name; someone in Lagos did the sleeve design and that’s the name it was given. Albarn has claimed that he's content with the outcome, as trying to come up with band names is difficult for him. The band performed together for the first time on 28 October 2011 in Cork, Ireland, as part of the annual Cork Jazz Festival. They performed under the moniker Another Honest Jon's Chop Up!. A full tour is not expected any time soon due to conflicting schedules, with the Red Hot Chili Peppers' tour continuing until 2013. Their debut album was released on 26 March 2012.
Albarn has also appeared on other unrelated works. Albarn was asked, alongside Blur bandmate Graham Coxon, to remix the Massive Attack song "Angel" for the single release, in 1998. Albarn then adopted the pseudonym of "Control Freak" for his remixing career. He only ever used the name once in a remix, when he remixed the Blur song "Bugman" as Control Freak for the single release of "Coffee & TV" in summer 1999. The Rentals' 1999 Album Seven More Minutes features Albarn on the track "Big Daddy C".
Albarn contributed backing vocals to a song on Massive Attack's 100th Window, released in 2003. More recently, on Massive Attack's 2010 Heligoland album, he sang on the track "Saturday Come Slow" and contributed keyboards to the track "Splitting the Atom". Albarn also appeared on the Nathan Haines' song "Squire for Hire", however Albarn credited it to Gorillaz' frontman 2D instead. Fatboy Slim's 2004 release Palookaville featured Albarn's vocals on the song "Put It Back Together". Albarn provided the voice-over intro and backing vocals in the song "Time Keeps On Slipping" for the rap concept album Deltron 3030, and featured on the track "Lovage (Love That Lovage, Baby)" for the Lovage album Music to Make Love to Your Old Lady By. Both albums were produced by Dan the Automator, who also produced Gorillaz' debut album. In 2008, he also produced parts of Amadou & Mariam's fifth album Welcome to Mali.
His song "Closet Romantic" appeared on the soundtrack for Trainspotting alongside an early Blur recording, "Sing". Albarn composed the score with collaboration by Michael Nyman for the 1999 movie Ravenous with Guy Pearce and Robert Carlyle. He composed the soundtrack to the 2000 Icelandic film 101 Reykjavík. In 2000, he composed the main part of the soundtrack for the crime comedy Ordinary Decent Criminal.
In their first major work together since Gorillaz, Albarn and Hewlett, along with acclaimed Chinese theatre and opera director Chen Shi-zheng, adapted for stage the Chinese story Journey to the West. as "Monkey: Journey to the West", which received its world premiere as the opening show of the 2007 Manchester International Festival, on 28 June 2007 at the Palace Theatre, Manchester. Albarn wrote the score, Hewlett designed the set and costumes. The opera was Albarn and Hewlett's second collaboration with the Manchester International Festival.
In collaboration with theatre director Rufus Norris, Albarn has created an opera for the 2011 Manchester International Festival based on the life of Elizabethan scientist John Dee and titled Doctor Dee.
Albarn starred in Antonia Bird's 1997 film Face alongside Ray Winstone and Robert Carlisle. Albarn was also featured in Gunar Karlsson's 2007 film Anna and the Moods. Albarn also played Bull in Joe Orton's "Up Against It", a Radio 4 play about The Beatles broadcast in 1998.
Albarn's grandfather, Edward Albarn, was a conscientious objector during the Second World War and was involved in a farming community in Lincolnshire. Albarn himself is outspokenly anti-war and has criticised British involvement in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. In 2002, he and Robert Del Naja of Massive Attack took out full page advertisements in the NME challenging the need for war.
In 2005 Albarn, among others, criticised the London Live 8 concert for not featuring enough black artists; among the few included were Ms. Dynamite, Snoop Dogg, and Youssou N'Dour. Eventually the organisers added a separate concert at the Eden Project in Cornwall to the programme in order to showcase African musicians. Albarn said he did not want to perform at Live 8 because he thought it was too "exclusive" and may have been motivated by self-promotion.
Albarn has been a vocal critic of celebrity culture:
"We need to dismantle very significant parts of our culture and really re-examine them. I suppose you start with the celebrity thing... you have to get rid of things like The X Factor immediately."
In 2006, Albarn was awarded an honorary Master of Arts degree from the University of East London, saying it was "great to receive [the] award from an institution where my dad used to work and which I, as a child, used to think of as that big building with lots of interesting people in".
Albarn is a vegetarian, and a fan of English football club Chelsea.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Damon Albarn|
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