In 2010, Cee Lo Green did something that’s quite rare in the music industry. He charted a song with an expletive in the title—well he charted a version of it anyways. “F**k You,” which was about the music industry, was the first from his third solo studio album, The Lady Killer.
To make the song appropriate for radio, a clean version was created called “Forget You.” This version peaked at number two on the Billboard Hot 100 but went all the way to number one in the United Kingdom and Scotland. The single has sold more than six million copies.
Cee Lo Green is a soul and R&B singer that began his professional career as part of the hip hop group Goodie Mob. During his tenure with Goodie Mob, Cee Lo considered himself a rapper and not a singer (even though he did sing hooks). Green left the group during the making of their third LP, World Party.
Green’s solo career began in earnest in 2002 with the release of Cee-Lo Green and His Perfect Imperfections. He followed that up in 2004 with Cee-Lo Green… Is the Soul Machine. Respectively, the albums peaked at #11 and #15 on the Billboard 200 and received some fairly decent reviews. Even so neither album sold very well and Green was dropped by his record label.
Green wouldn’t release another solo album, the aforementioned The Lady Killer, for more than six years. During that time he teamed with Danger Mouse to form Gnarls Barkley. The duo released two albums with the first being the smash hit St. Elsewhere (2006). The album has been certified Platinum, made a number of year-end best-of lists, and picked up Grammy nominations for Album and Record of Year. In 2008, Gnarls Barkley released their second album, The Odd Couple.
Two events that continue to have a profound effect on Cee Lo Green’s life and career are the death of his parents. His father died when he was two and his mother when he was 18.
Green was a judge on NBC’s singing competition The Voice.
Cee Lo’s real name is Thomas DeCarlo Callaway.