Childhood & Early Life
Brian Joseph Burton was born in White Plains, New York, US, on July 29, 1977. He grew up mostly in the Spring Valley, and later moved to Stone Mountain, Georgia, a suburb of Atlanta.
He lived in Athens, Georgia, for a while and studied telecommunications at the University of Georgia.
During this time, he met renowned artistes like Nirvana, Pink Floyd and Portishead. He also became a DJ for the university’s radio station WUOG-FM.
Between 1998 and 2003, he created a series of remix CDs and records, wearing a mouse outfit, under the stage name Danger Mouse. He took the name from the British cartoon series of the same title.
Danger Mouse’s debut studio album was ‘Ghetto Pop Life’, which was a collaborative studio album with singer Gemini. It included songs such as ‘Omega Supreme’, ‘The Only One’ and ‘That Brooklyn Shit’.
His popularity increased in 2004, after he released ‘The Grey Album’. It included singles such as ‘What More Can I Say’, ‘Dirt Off Your Shoulder’ and ‘Moment of Clarity’. The album featured a few musical pieces by singer Jay-Z and ‘The Beatles’, which brought it controversy.
In 2005, he formed the group ‘Danger Doom’ and released the album ‘The Mouse and the Mask’. In 2006, they released their first EP ‘Occult Hymn’. The same year, along with CeeLo, he formed Gnarls Barkley, and released their first album titled ‘St Elsewhere’. Their debut single, ‘Crazy’, received international acclaim.
The song ‘Crazy’ reached the 2nd position on the US Billboard Hot 100 and topped the charts in many countries, such as Belgium, Hungary, Italy, Sweden and Switzerland. The song appeared in Rolling Stone’s list of ‘The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time’. It also appeared in the first position of their list of 100 top songs of the decade.
In 2008, the group released another album ‘The Odd Couple’. Unlike their previous album, it failed to perform well. It included songs such as ‘Who’s Gonna Save My Soul’, ‘Going On’, ‘Run’, and ‘Open Book’.
His next studio album was ‘Dark Night of the Soul’, which he released along with Sparklehorse. It also featured collaborations with several notable musicians.
In 2010, he collaborated with James Mercer to form the indie-rock band named ‘Broken Bells’. Their first album, ‘Broken Bells,’ was released the same year. It did well commercially, reaching the 7th position on the US Billboard 200. It was nominated in the category of Best Alternative Music Album at the Grammy Awards. They released an EP, ‘Meyrin Fields,’ the following year.
In 2011, he released the album ‘Rome’, in collaboration with Italian composer Daniele Luppi. It included songs such as ‘Theme of Rome’, ‘Morning Fog’, ‘Her Hollow Ways’, and ‘Roman Blue’. The album was a success, and it reached the 11th position on the US Billboard 200, as well as the 15th position on the Canadian chart, and the 20th position on the UK chart.
In 2014, Broken Bells released their second album ‘After the Disco’. It included singles such as ‘After the Disco’, ‘Holding on for Life’, and ‘Leave It Alone’. It performed well in multiple charts, reaching the 5th position on the US Billboard 200, 3rd position on the Canadian Albums Chart and 12th position on the UK Albums Chart.
His most recent album is ‘Lux Prima’, which was released in 2019 in collaboration with Karen O. It included singles such as ‘Ministry’, ‘Turn the Light’, and ‘Redeemer’.
Throughout his career, he has also been a producer of several albums like ‘Fear of a Black Tangent’ (2005), ‘The Blue God’ (2008), ‘Brothers’ (2010), ‘Turn Blue’ (2014), ‘Love and Hate’ (2016) and ‘Wide Awake!’ (2018).
The debut single of his group Gnarls Barkley, ‘Crazy,’ is one of his major works. The song won a Grammy Award in the category of ‘Best Urban/Alternative Performance’ in 2007. It was also nominated in the category of ‘Record of the Year’. It reached the second position on the US Billboard 100 and topped the charts in several other countries.
Danger Mouse has produced many albums, one of them being the studio album ‘25’ by English singer Adele, which earned him a Grammy Award. The album stood at the first position on the US Billboard 200, as well as on the charts of many other countries, such as Australia, Canada, Greece, Russia, South Korea and Sweden. It won the Grammy Award for ‘Album of the Year’ and ‘Best Pop Vocal Album.’