Gorillaz is a musical project created in 1998 by Damon Albarn of alternative rock band Blur and British cartoonist Jamie Hewlett, co-creator of the comic book Tank Girl. This project consists of the Gorillaz music itself and an extensive fictional universe depicting a "virtual band" of comic book characters. This band is composed of four animated members: 2D (lead vocalist, keyboard), Murdoc Niccals (bass guitar), Noodle (guitar and occasional vocals) and Russel Hobbs (drums and percussion). Their fictional universe is explored through the band's website and music videos, as well as a number of other media. The music is a collaboration between various musicians, Albarn being the only permanent musical contributor. Their style is a composition of multiple musical genres, with a large number of influences including: dub, hip hop, alternative rock, electronic and pop music.
The band's 2001 debut album Gorillaz sold over seven million copies and earned 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 It was nominated for the Mercury Prize 2001, but the nomination was later withdrawn at the band's request.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","Kids with Guns" and "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. Gorillaz have also released two B-sides compilations and a remix album. The combined sales of Gorillaz and Demon Days had, by 2007, exceeded 20 million albums. The band's third studio album, titled Plastic Beach, was released in 2010. On 25 June 2010, the band stood in for U2 as Glastonbury Festival 2010's first-night headliners.