Gorillaz are a British virtual band created in 1998 by musician Damon Albarn and artist Jamie Hewlett. The band consists of four animated members: 2-D (lead vocals, keyboards), Murdoc Niccals (bass guitar and vocals), Noodle (guitar, keyboards) and Russel Hobbs (drums and percussion). These members are fictional and are not personas of any "real life" musicians involved in the project. Their fictional universe is explored through the band's website and music videos, as well as a number of other media, such as short cartoons. In reality, Albarn is the only permanent musical contributor, and the music is often a collaboration between various musicians. Writers and critics have described their music as alternative rock, Britpop, trip hop, hip hop, electronica, indie, dub, reggae and pop.
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 It was nominated for the Mercury Prize in 2001, but the nomination was later withdrawn at the band's request. Their second studio album Demon Days (2005) went five times platinum in the UK and double platinum in the US. The band has won other awards, including one Grammy Award, two MTV Video Music Awards, an NME Award, three MTV Europe Music Awards, and have been nominated for nine Brit Awards. The band's third studio album, Plastic Beach, was released in March 2010. Their fourth studio album called The Fall was released in December 2010 as a free download for fan club members, then in April 2011 as a physical release. After a six-year hiatus, Gorillaz announced their fifth studio album Humanz, due to be released on 28 April 2017.