Cee-Lo Green Hits His Stride

Cee-Lo Green and a massive backing ensemble of strings, horns, keyboard, bass, drums and background vocalists performed his latest hit “Bright Lights Bigger City” from his current album, The Lady Killer, on the Jay Leno stage Monday night. Cee-Lo was in typical fine form, having finally arrived as a successful solo artist in the wake of his massive international hit, “Forget You/Fuck You!”

For those who thought “Forget You/Fuck You!” might be a novelty fluke for the veteran rap/soul singer, “Bright Lights Bigger City” is proof that Cee-Lo can deliver the goods without the lyrical shock value.

You’d have to be in a cave to have missed the explosion and controversy of “Forget You…”, the video of which blew up on youtube in September of last year. The two million plays it got in less than a week certainly had to do with the song’s naughty lyric. But, ultimately the controversial song’s message struck a chord with conservative pop radio jacking it up the charts early this year.

It’s been a long and winding road for Cee-Lo to arrive at this juncture. His second life as a solo artist (he had two commercial flops for Arista Records between ’02 and ‘04) comes in the wake of his Danger Mouse collaboration, Gnarls Barkley, which produced the huge international smash, “Crazy”. He sang “Do You Like The Way” with Lauryn Hill who wrote the song for Santana’s ginormous album Supernatural. His Atlanta-based hip-hop group Goodie Mob had some success in the 90’s as part of the Dungeon Family, which also included OutKast.

Now it seems like Cee-Lo is everywhere. His current stint as a coach on The Voice will probably lead to other opportunities. You can catch him on tour as well.

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