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Well, hello there. My name is not important. And i'm often asked, what do I do for a living? And I answer, I do what I want. Spontaneity is the spice of life, and i've indulged quite a bit. Now, i'm not above the law, and i'm certainly not lawless. But when it comes to ladies... I have a license to kill.—Lady Killer theme
Cee Lo Green (né Thomas DeCarlo Callaway, b. 1974) is an American singer, rapper, songwriter and producer. Best known for an eclectic style that combines elements of hip-hop, R&B, and Motown soul, Cee Lo has been active with several groups since the mid-'90s and has won three Grammy awards.
Cee Lo's musical career started in 1991 when he and three friends from his hometown of Atlanta founded the Goodie Mob, the genre-naming Dirty South rap group. After recording three albums with the group, and appearing as a guest vocalist on Carlos Santana's 1999 album Supernatural, Green quit the Goodie Mob to pursue a solo career. He released two solo albums in the early 2000s, which received little mainstream attention at the time. It was during this time that he began to transition from rap to singing, a change which solidified when he and producer Danger Mouse formed the crossover group Gnarls Barkley. His first album with Gnarls, 2006's St. Elsewhere, was a major hit, reaching #4 in the U.S., with its lead single "Crazy" reaching #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #1 in the U.K (becoming the first #1 single on the UK charts to get there on download sales alone). The group's second album didn't do as well, however. Cee Lo would also reunite and perform several live shows with the Goodie Mob during this time.
During a hiatus from Gnarls in 2010, Cee Lo recorded and released The Lady Killer, his most successful solo album to date. The album reached the top ten in both the U.S. and Britain, and produced the enormously popular single "Fuck You!", which reached #2 in the U.S. and #1 in the U.K. As of 2012, Cee Lo is recording new albums with both Gnarls Barkley and the Goodie Mob, and is a panelist on The Voice.
- Cee Lo Green and His Perfect Imperfections (2002)
- Cee Lo Green... Is the Soul Machine (2004)
- The Lady Killer (2010)
With Gnarls Barkley:
- St. Elsewhere (2006)
- The Odd Couple (2008)
With the Goodie Mob:
- Soul Food (1995)
- Still Standing (1998)
- World Party (1999)
- Age Against The Machine (TBA)
Tropes appearing in Cee Lo Green's music;
- Big Fun: He's only 5'5", but he fits the rest of it. He's a bigger guy and generally seems like he knows how to party.
- Bowdlerise: There are several radio cuts of "Fuck You!", which change the eponymous epithet to "Forget You" or "F You", and censor most of the other cursing in the song appropriately.
- Concept Video: The video for "Fuck You!" shows Cee Lo as a boy, a teen, and a college kid, trying unsuccessfully to woo a gold-digging girl in a diner. In the final scene, he's become rich and successful, and he gets his turn to say no to the girl, who is now a cleaning lady at the diner.
- Cool Shades: He's rarely seen without them.
- Girl Group: In concert, Cee Lo performs with an all-female backing band called Scarlet Fever.
- George Lucas Throwback: The Lady Killer is largely an homage to the Motown sound, and its intro is a James Bond pastiche.
- Hey, It's That Voice!: The single version of "Bright Lights, Bigger City" features a guest rap by Wiz Khalifa.
- "Fuck You!" was co-written by Bruno Mars.
- Intercourse with You: "Love Gun".
- Neoclassical Punk Zydeco Rockabilly: Most of his post-Goodie Mob work is best described as "experimental hip-hop", with an emphasis on "experimental".
- Precision F-Strike: "Fuck You!" has more than a few.
- The far less known Whatever from Gnarles Barkley's The Odd Couple goes this route a good two years before the above track.
- Scully Box: Inverted with the 5'5" Cee Lo, who usually wears clothes a few sizes too big to exaggerate his small stature and ends up being dwarfed by the women in his backing group.
- Signature Song: "Fuck You!" solo, "Crazy" as part of Gnarls Barkley.