Damon Albarn (English pronunciation: /ˈdeɪmən ˈɔːlbɑrn/, born 23 March 1968) is an English singer-songwriter and record producer who has been involved in many high profile projects and collaborations throughout his career. He is perhaps best known internationally for his current role as the frontman and songwriter of Gorillaz, whose first two studio albums had sold more than 20 million copies combined by 2007 and as the frontman and primary songwriter of Britpop band Blur, and has also helmed such lesser-known projects as The Good, the Bad & the Queen, Monkey: Journey to the West and Mali Music.
Albarn was voted the 4th greatest frontman of all time in a national 2010 Q magazine poll.
Albarn was born in Whitechapel, London in 1968, and grew up with his bohemian middle-class family in Leytonstone, later moving to Colchester, Essex. He attended the George Tomlinson Primary School, and studied piano, guitar, and violin, and became friends with Graham Coxon when he was aged 12, both being students at the Stanway Comprehensive School at the time. At 15, he won the regional heat in the Young Composer of the Year contest. He studied acting at the East 15 Acting School in Debden, leaving after the first year. On leaving drama school he performed as a mime artist, and worked as a tea boy at the Beat Factory studio. He then attended a part-time music course at Goldsmiths, University of London in London. His first band was the synth pop group Two's a Crowd. Other pre-Blur bands that he was involved with were The Aftermath and Real Lives.