Danger Mouse (Brian Burton) has parlayed the accidental success of an illegal pet project into a career as one of music’s most sought-after producers and collaborators. In 2004 Burton, then a DJ who had released three electronica albums, mashed up The Beatles’ White Album with Jay-Z’s Black Album for some friends and techies who he thought would appreciate the feat. The result, which became known as The Grey Album, became a Web sensation and earned several Album of the Year accolades on the strength of its online presence alone.
Since then, he’s taken on a diverse roster of clients by producing albums for Gorillaz (for which he received a Grammy nomination), blues-rock band the Black Keys, and, most recently, Beck. Burton, along with rapper Cee-Lo, forms Gnarls Barkley, the hip-hop/pop/funk duo responsible for 2006’s hit “Crazy.” The single and its parent album, St. Elsewhere, earned the pair two Grammy Awards. Their second album, The Odd Couple, was released in March.