Rock Candy

Stevie Nicks is the latest legend to collaborate with Gorillaz. If you’re not familiar with them, Gorillaz is a “virtual” band formed by Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett in 1998.

Albarn is also the frontman for the British band Blur. He’s a busy guy: he has a number of other musical projects as well. He’s made music with The Good, The Bad and The Queen (which also features former Clash bassist Paul Simonon) and Rocket Juice & The Moon (along with Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers). Jamie Hewlett, meanwhile, is an animator who is the co-creator of the comic book Tank Girl.

The “band” consists of four fictional members: 2-D (vocals, keyboards), Murdoc Niccals (bass guitar), Noodle (guitar, keyboards, vocals), and Russel Hobbs (drums). They’ve released seven albums over the years and they’ve even toured. The shows feature Albarn with live musicians but the focus is generally on animation, which is shown on screens around and above the stage. And, as you’ll see below, they tend to collaborate with a lot of well-known singers, musicians and even actors.

Stevie Nicks, of course, is no stranger to collaboration. She became an instant superstar upon joining Fleetwood Mac for 1975’s self-titled album. She also managed to balance being in the band with her hugely successful solo career. In 2019, she became the first woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice.

And she always seems game for a collaboration: even before she went solo, she had a huge hit with “Whenever I Call You Friend,” a duet with Kenny Loggins. She has also collaborated with a number of other artists, including Don Henley and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. But she’s also worked with artists who grew up listening to her music, including Sheryl Crow, Foo Fighters, Harry Styles, Miley Cyrus, Lady A and Maroon 5, among others.

But here’s a list of other legends who Gorillaz have collaborated with. The next Gorillaz album, featuring the collaboration with Nicks, is called Cracker Island and will be out in February 2023, according to the band’s Instagram account.

  • Tina Weymouth and Chris Frantz of Talking Heads and the Tom Tom Club

    The married couple are also Rock and Roll Hall of Famers: Weymouth played bass in Talking Heads and Frantz was the drummer. They started their own hip-hop inspired group, Tom Tom Club, in 1981. They both contribute to one of Gorillaz’s first singles, “19-2000” from 2001’s Gorillaz.

  • Dennis Hopper

    Yes, that Dennis Hopper. That’s him narrating on “Fire Coming Out Of The Monkey’s Head,” from 2005’s Demon Days

  • Bobby Womack

    The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, most famous for “It’s All Over Now” (later covered by the Rolling Stones), “Woman’s Gotta Have It” and “Across 110th Street,” sings on “Stylo” and “Cloud of Unknowing” from 2010’s Plastic Beach. He later played on “Bobby in Phoenix” from the following album, 2010’s The Fall.

  • Lou Reed

    The two-time Rock and Roll Hall of Famer lends his distinctive drawl and plays guitar on “Some Kind Of Nature” from Plastic Beach.

  • Mick Jones and Paul Simonon from the Clash

    Simonon and Albarn are obviously pals, as they’re also in The Good, The Bad & The Queen together. The bassist played on a few songs on Plastic Beach. But his former Clash-mate Jones joined them on the album’s title track. The two joined Albarn for some of the live shows on this tour. Jones and Simonon later played on a few songs on the following album, 2010’s The Fall

  • Mavis Staples

    The Rock and Roll Famer (she was inducted as a member of the gospel group the Staple Singers), joined the band for “Let Me Out” from 2017’s Humanz. Rapper Pusha T also guests on the track.

  • Noel Gallagher of Oasis

    Back in the day, Gallagher’s Oasis and Albarn’s Blur were bitter rivals. It seems that they buried the hatchet though, when Noel sang on “We Got The Power” from Humanz.

  • Carly Simon

    Simon, part of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s class of 2022, sang on a bonus track from Humanz, “Ticker Tape,” along with Kali Uchis.

  • Robert Smith of the Cure

    Smith was no stranger to animation: he’d already appeared on South Park! He, of course, helped to save the day from one of hte most famous singers in the world. As he said in an interview at the time, “I was the arch-enemy of Barbra Streisand. I still don’t quite know why!” But in the “Strange Timez” video, Smith pretty much plays the Man in the Moon (watch the video, it’ll make sense). It’s from the 2020 album, Song Machine, Season One: Strange Timez.

  • Beck

    He also guested on Song Machine, Season One: Strange Timez. He’s on the song “The Valley of the Pagans.”

  • Elton John

    Elton is always down for a collaboration with a younger artist (he’s worked with Dua Lipa, Fall Out Boy, Miley Cyrus, Eddie Vedder, Lil Nas X, Alice In Chains and Queens of the Stone Age, to name a few). And he’s been a cartoon as well, but we’ll excuse you if you’ve forgotten his 1989’s “Club At The End of the Street” video (or his appearance in Rod Stewart’s 1991 “The Motown Song” video). Here, he shows up in cartoon form to sing and play piano on “The Pink Phantom,” which also features rapper 6LACK. It’s also from Song Machine, Season One: Strange Timez