What Will Cee Lo Do?

Enigmatic singer-songwriter Cee Lo Green, who visits Harrah’s Event Center on Saturday, Feb. 16, 
can be as charismatic as he is unconventional.

By Ed Condran
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 1 | Posted Feb. 14, 2013

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You never know what you’ll get from Cee Lo Green, which is one of the many reasons he is different than most of his peers in the world of music.


When Green was slated to perform at the South By Southwest Music and Media Conference three years ago, he didn’t make it and at the last minute was replaced by Janelle Monae, who can do no wrong. Just ask Grammy winner (for best new artist) Fun.

Green, who will perform Saturday, Feb. 16, at Harrah’s Event Center, was booed at the Coachella festival in 2011 and at Lollapalooza that same year after hitting the stage late and performing a brief set, which he said wasn’t his fault.

Not many artists get booed these days. That’s unusual and so is Green, who isn’t talking at the moment but that makes sense. A concert promoter recently accused Green of trying to swindle him out of $250,000, and he allegedly sexually assaulted a woman last summer. So it makes sense for Green to keep it quiet, but even when things are good the singer-songwriter is typically on the down-low.

Things might be a little weird for Green right now but the reality is that he puts together some great shows when the conditions are right for him. He has a great pop touch. Just check out “Forget You,” the relentlessly catchy single that pushed him into another echelon and tax bracket. Even his cover choices are stellar. Green delivers a terrific version of Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’.”

Who knows what he’ll do in Atlantic City? Everything that Green has touched ends up different from the rest, particularly the critically acclaimed Gnarls Barkley, the offbeat pop-rock neo-soul act, which winks at former NBA legend Charles Barkley. 

Gnarls Barkley is left of center but the public bought it. You don’t have to be mainstream and predictable to sell. 

Once upon a time, rockers, rappers, blues artists and funk masters were out of control. Green has more in common with the shamanistic Jim Morrison than the rapper Common. He is a deep, complex dude in an era filled with sheep.

“I’m bored to tears by so much of what I see today,” Public Image Lmtd. and Sex Pistols vocalist John Lydon was quoted as saying. “What is there to like right now? I know exactly what I’ll get when I go to a show. But there are a few exceptions who break the rules or make their own rules. There are a few exceptional writers and performers out there and that’s who I want to see more of. I want to see performers willing to take a risk and perhaps, most importantly, not care of what the public, critics or anyone thinks. How great it would be if someone went up on stage with their own convictions and they didn’t care about being booed. They just did what they wanted to do. There’s not enough people like that out there today.”

Lydon could have been talking about a maverick like Green, who follows his own agenda. He doesn’t pay attention to anything but his craft. It’s about his albums and his concerts and nothing more — except for his gig on the NBC show The Voice.

How does a guy who does just what he wants score the song of the summer of 2010, which was the smash hit “Forget You”? The tune emanated from cars, stores and is featured at ballparks. Gwyneth Paltrow covered it during a Glee performance. It’s a fun, feel-good song.

“Anytime you have some success, that’s a good thing,” Green said during a 2011 interview. “You never take that for granted. You have to appreciate it. You look at a lot of recording artists and their success was so fleeting. Anytime it works out for you, you have to hold on to that time because it goes quickly.”

Who can say if Green will craft another hit? All he can do is continue to make new music. It was improbable that Green would land where he did, considering his luckless childhood.

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1. Gnarls Harley said... on Feb 15, 2013 at 04:17PM

“will he come to the Pool?”


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