What is Damon Albarn’s Net Worth?
Damon Albarn is an English musician, singer-songwriter, and record producer who has a net worth of $45 million. Damon Albarn is best known as the frontman of the rock band Blur and the lead vocalist of the virtual band Gorillaz. He has also performed with the supergroups the Good, the Bad & the Queen and Rocket Juice & the Moon, and has released albums as a solo artist. Among his other music endeavors, Albarn has composed scores for film and theater.
Early Life and Education
Damon Albarn was born on March 23, 1968 in London, England to Hazel, a theatrical set designer, and Keith, an artist who headed the Colchester School of Art. He has a younger sister named Jessica. Growing up, the kids were raised in the Quaker faith. When Albarn was nine, he moved with his family to Aldham in Essex. After failing his eleven-plus exam, he went to the Stanway School, where he cultivated his growing interest in drama by acting in school plays. At Stanway, Albarn met and befriended his future Blur bandmate Graham Coxon. Albarn later studied acting at the East 15 Acting School, but left after a year.
In 1988, Albarn enrolled in a music course at Goldsmiths College so he could gain access to the student union bar. At the time, he was in a band called Circus with Graham Coxon and Dave Rowntree. Goldsmiths student Alex James soon joined the group. Circus went on to change its name to Seymour, and finally to Blur. The band signed with Food Records in 1990 and released its first single, “She’s So High.” The follow-up single, “There’s No Other Way,” became a commercial hit. Both singles were subsequently included on Blur’s debut studio album, “Leisure,” which came out in 1991. The following year, the group embarked on a tour of the United States to recoup around £60,000 in losses. During the tour, Albarn and the other bandmates grew homesick; to cope, they started creating songs that extolled their English identity. This resulted in the 1993 album “Modern Life is Rubbish,” which struggled commercially. Far more successful was 1994’s “Parklife,” which debuted at number one on the British charts and launched the hit single “Girls & Boys.”
Blur released its fourth studio album, “The Great Escape,” in 1995. Another success, it peaked atop the British charts and spawned a string of hit singles, including “Country House,” “The Universal,” and “Charmless Man.” In 1997, Blur went in a different direction with its self-titled fifth studio album, which was influenced by American indie rock. Despite much skepticism, the album debuted at number one on the British charts and launched the smash singles “Song 2” and “Beetlebum.” Blur next released the album “13” in 1999, followed by “Think Tank” in 2003; both debuted atop the British charts. The band soon broke up due to strained relationships, but reunited in 2009 for a concert at Hyde Park in London. In 2015, Blur released its first album in 12 years, “The Magic Whip.”
Albarn’s other major band is the virtual group Gorillaz, which he started with comic book artist Jamie Hewlett in 1998. A cartoon band intended to mock the lack of substance found in much of modern music, Gorillaz consists of collaborations between many musicians, with Albarn being the only permanent contributor as the lead vocalist, instrumentalist, and primary songwriter. The band’s self-titled debut album, released in 2001, was a major success, spawning the hit singles “Clint Eastwood” and “19-2000.” Even more successful was Gorillaz’s second album, 2005’s “Demon Days,” which launched the hit singles “Feel Good Inc.,” “Dare,” and “Dirty Harry.” The album went on to earn five Grammy Award nominations, winning one. Gorillaz subsequently released the albums “Plastic Beach” and “The Fall.” After a seven-year hiatus, the group released its fifth album, “Humanz,” in 2017. This was followed by “The Now Now” and “Song Machine, Season One: Strange Timez,” the first installment in the “Song Machine” series.
In 2014, Albarn released his debut solo album, “Everyday Robots.” Positively received, it debuted at number two in the UK. Albarn didn’t release another solo album until late 2021, with “The Nearer the Fountain, More Pure the Stream Flows.”
Other Music Projects
Albarn has been involved in a number of other music projects beyond Blur and Gorillaz. He has performed and recorded with the rock supergroup the Good, the Bad & the Queen, which released its debut album in 2007. Notable singles by the band include “Herculean,” “Kingdom of Doom,” and “Green Fields.” Albarn also performed with the supergroup Rocket Juice & the Moon, featuring Nigerian musician Tony Allen and Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea. Among his other projects, Albarn collaborated with a number of record producers and musicians on the African charity albums “Kinshasa One Two” and “Maison Des Jeunes.”
Albarn has also composed for film and theater. In 1999, he and Michael Nyman composed the score to the film “Ravenous.” Later, in 2011, Albarn and Rufus Norris created the opera “Dr Dee.” Four years after that, Albarn composed the music to the theatrical production “Wonder.land.”
Personal Life and Philanthropy
In the 90s, Albarn was in a longterm relationship with musician Justine Frischmann. After breaking up, he began dating artist Suzi Winstanley, with whom he has a daughter named Missy. The family lives in the Notting Hill neighborhood of London. Albarn also owns a home in Reykjavik, Iceland, where he gained citizenship in 2020.
Albarn is significantly involved in philanthropy, and is particularly committed to charity in West Africa. After being angered by the Live 8 charity concert only including one African artist in its lineup, Albarn partnered with journalist Ian Birrell to found the non-profit organization Africa Express, which fosters cross-cultural collaborations between musicians throughout Africa, the Middle East, and the West.