Blur are set to be awarded with the Outstanding Contribution to Music award at next year's BriTs ceremony, reports the Bbc. The group hit their commercial peak in the mid 90s, the now infamous chart battle with Oasis for their respective singles 'Country House' and 'Roll With It' perhaps marking their watershed; but to concentrate on this point alone does a disservice to the incredible versatility and evolution the band showed in a career that started with their debut album 'Leisure' over 21 years ago.
Damon Albarn, Graham Coxon, Alex James and Dave Rowntree weren't instant successes, 'Leisure' was moderately received by critics, many seeing it as an attempt to cotton on to the fading baggy stylings of the Madchester-era, and follow-up 1993 effort 'Modern Life Is Rubbish' was so overtly British in its portrayal of average life in the London boroughs that it quickly ascertained that they'd never really make it big in America. However the arrival of 'Parklife' in 1994 met a public more prepared for the group's vision and rocketed to top spot in the UK charts, going four times platinum - a chart position they replicated with their remaining four albums over the next nine years. From 1997's 'Blur' however they dropped what had been coined as "Britpop", experimenting with increasingly more experimental, global sounds by the time of 2003's 'Think Tank'.
Going on hiatus after guitarist Graham Coxon left the band, the four members of Blur pursued their own projects throughout the noughties, Albarn most notably going on to huge chart success with animated group Gorillaz. However they reformed for a series of shows in 2009 including a triumphant Glastonbury Festival headlining slot and rumours still persist that they may yet record what would be their eighth studio album.