Southern Comfort; Cee Lo Arrives to Ch Harm His British Fans

The Mirror (London, England), March 25, 2011 | Go to article overview

Southern Comfort; Cee Lo Arrives to Ch Harm His British Fans


Byline: GAVIN MARTIN

On the heated terrace of his London hotel, Cee Lo Green, the extra-large sized tattooed love god and Lady Killer extraordinaire is in his element. The waitress who brings what he declares is his "favourite drink in the whole wide world" , a Honey Passion cocktail, is so overwhelmed by the silvery Cee Lo tongue that she knocks his glass over.

Cee Lo barely has time to tell her not to worry before the eye-catching manageress of singer Amber Rose connects him to the up and coming singer on her mobile. Cee Lo's seduction technique is evident as he talks at length, arranging a future rendezvous.

"Ha, women," he shrugs, returning the phone and sipping his hastily replaced cocktail.

Atlanta born and bred, Cee Lo, 36, is the son of two ordained preachers. Now enjoying multi-million selling, Grammy and Brit Award-winning success, he was a pioneer of Atlanta's Dirty South funk soul sound long before his big breakthrough with Gnarls Barkley's Crazy.

"I've always been recognisable for one reason or another," says Cee Lo, real name Thomas DeCarlo Callaway. "Music did a lot for me - it gave me shape, form and fashion.

"I had eight years of preparation and throughout it all I had an expectation of an inheritance waiting."

The inheritance didn't come easily. His father passed away when he was two and his mother died a couple of years after she was paralysed in a car crash, just as 18-year-old Cee Lo's career took off with The Goodie Mob.

Cee Lo refuses to connect a violent delinquent teenage period to his parental loss.

"I'm not sure it has anything to do with it or everything," he replies. "I never knew my father. He could have been violent in his own right. It's not for me to speculate. I've always had the same heart. The same heart that creates music is the one that made me determined to protect myself at all costs.

"Survival is a skill. I'm a soldier, a lover and a fighter. My skin is a little thicker because of where I've come from. I could have gone comfortably numb along time ago, but I was saved because of my association with music. Music truly did calm a very savage beast."

The break-up of his marriage in 2005 is another experience that has helped give Cee Lo's songs depth and thoughtfulness. …

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