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CeeLo Green: Grammy Award-Winning Soul Machine

Full Name Thomas DeCarlo Callaway
Birthdate May 30, 1974
Birth Place Atlanta, Georgia
Social Media Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube

CeeLo Green is a Grammy Award-winning American singer, rapper, songwriter, and record producer known for his soulful voice, retro style, and diverse musical talents. With a career spanning over 25 years, CeeLo has made an indelible mark on the music industry through his work as a solo artist and as part of the groups Goodie Mob and Gnarls Barkley.

Early Life and Career Beginnings

CeeLo Green was born Thomas DeCarlo Callaway on May 30, 1974 in Atlanta, Georgia. He grew up in a religious household, singing gospel music in church choirs. According to CeeLo, "I grew up in the Baptist church—it’s engraved in who I am." In his youth, he was exposed to classic soul and funk music through his parents‘ record collection. Artists like Curtis Mayfield, Marvin Gaye, and Pink Floyd influenced CeeLo‘s eclectic musical tastes.

As a teenager, CeeLo met Big Gipp, T-Mo, and Khujo of Goodie Mob and together they pioneered the Southern rap genre known as Dirty South. The group released four studio albums in the 1990s and early 2000s, garnerning critical acclaim with gritty songs like "Cell Therapy" and "Soul Food". CeeLo honed his songwriting skills penning poignant lyrics about Southern life.

Chart-Topping Success with Gnarls Barkley

In the mid-2000s, CeeLo partnered with producer Danger Mouse to form the alternative soul duo Gnarls Barkley. Their 2006 debut album St. Elsewhere spawned the hugely popular hit "Crazy" which peaked at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100. I remember hearing the Motown-inspired horns of "Crazy" and realizing CeeLo had created an instant classic. The song‘s retro sound introduced CeeLo to mainstream audiences worldwide.

Gnarls Barkley released two more albums, 2008‘s The Odd Couple and 2014‘s Gnarls Barkely Vol. 1. CeeLo‘s smooth soulful vocals and Danger Mouse‘s cinematic production made the duo stand out in the pop landscape. Songs like "Who‘s Gonna Save My Soul" and "Run" showcased their experimental blend of hip-hop, funk, and electronic music.

Grammy Wins and Continued Relevance

CeeLo achieved his biggest solo success in 2010 with the single "Forget You" from his album The Lady Killer. The cheeky retro-styled kiss-off anthem topped charts worldwide, earning CeeLo his first two Grammys for Best Urban/Alternative Performance and Best Music Video. According to CeeLo, the song was inspired by a real romantic breakup. The edited version "Forget You!" became a pop culture phenomenon after being performed on hit shows like Glee and Saturday Night Live.

CeeLo continued to blend throwback soul with modern hip-hop productions on his subsequent albums, including 2012‘s Cee Lo‘s Magic Moment. He also found success collaborating with artists like Santana, Rod Stewart, Jennifer Hudson, and Christina Aguilera over the years. Even appearing as himself on an episode of South Park in 2012, memorably performing a song called "I Love Sarcastaball."

In 2017, CeeLo began a residency show in Las Vegas titled "CeeLo Green is Loberace" at Planet Hollywood. The dazzling production combined his hits with covers and incorporated dancers, wild costumes, and theatrics. CeeLo‘s dynamic stage presence captivated crowds during the multi-year residency.

Though his career has spanned decades, CeeLo Green remains a relevant fixture in pop culture. He continues releasing new music, including his 2020 album CeeLo Green is Thomas Callaway. An outspoken advocate for justice, CeeLo uses his platform to promote messages of tolerance and understanding. He is a true original!

Why I Love CeeLo Green

As a long-time fan, I‘m amazed by CeeLo‘s incredible range as a vocalist, seamlessly alternating between his smooth soulful croon and rapid-fire rapping. The retro flair he brings to every genre makes his music instantly recognizable.

Beyond his talents, I admire CeeLo‘s unapologetic individuality. The flamboyant costumes, his candid opinions, the risks he takes creatively – CeeLo follows his own beat. He encourages his fans to be themselves too.

CeeLo is a rare talent who elevates everything he touches. I can‘t wait to see what he does next! Whether belting out his hits like "Bright Lights Bigger City" or displaying his social conscience in songs like "People Watching," the Soul Machine delivers every time.