Madonna has collaborated with plenty of animated performers in the past: Britney, Prince, Lenny Kravitz, Rosie O'Donnell, Dennis Rodman, Ali G. But at the upcoming Grammy Awards, the singer will share the stage with an actual cartoon: the Gorillaz.
The five-time Grammy winner will join the Grammy-nominated animated group at the 48th annual awards, which take place on February 8 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, according to an announcement from the Recording Academy.
The Gorillaz — a fictional, animated group conceived by Blur frontman Damon Albarn and "Tank Girl" cartoonist Jamie Hewlett — will appear in 3-D animated color during the performance via a technique that was unveiled at the MTV Europe Awards last year: Three-dimensional holograms of the "bandmembers" were projected onto screens onstage during their performance of "Feel Good Inc." According to British newspaper The Times, the realistic — and rather creepy — illusion was achieved using a 19th-century parlor trick called Pepper's Ghost, in which an image or actor offstage is illuminated so that the light waves bounce off a piece of glass placed at a strategic angle onto screens onstage: The ghostly reflected image then appears to be on the stage. The Gorillaz are attempting to perfect the technique for their world tour, which is slated for 2007 or 2008 (see "Gorillaz Target 'Dirty Harry' As Third Single; World Tour Begins To Jell").
The group is nominated for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals, Best Short Form Music Video (for "Feel Good Inc."), Best Urban/Alternative Performance (for "Dirty Harry") and Record of the Year, also for "Feel Good Inc." (see "Road To The Grammys: The Story Behind Gorillaz's 'Feel Good Inc.' ").
Also joining the show's lineup as presenters are smooth crooner Michael Bublé, Academy Award nominee Matt Dillon and rappers Common, Queen Latifah and Ludacris.
The latest additions join a performance lineup that includes Mariah Carey, Coldplay, John Legend, Bruce Springsteen, U2 with Mary J. Blige, Faith Hill with Keith Urban, Christina Aguilera with Herbie Hancock, Jamie Foxx with Kanye West and an all-star tribute to Sly and the Family Stone with Legend, Maroon 5, Will.I.Am of the Black Eyed Peas, Joss Stone, Robert Randolph, Steven Tyler and Joe Perry of Aerosmith (see "Jamie Foxx And Kanye Go For The 'Gold,' U2 And Mary J. Team Up At Grammys").
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