Cee Lo Green is joining the ranks of Elton John, Celine Dion, Cher, Rod Stewart and Shania Twain. The singer-songwriter announced he’s bringing his brand of over-the-top glitz and cool to the one place big enough to house it, the Las Vegas Strip.
“The Voice” coach is preparing to set up shop for a residency at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino, he announced on Friday.
Cee Lo Green is best known for his Goodie Mob and Gnarls Barkley days, dishing out advice on “The Voice” or that ubiquitously profane hit that burned up charts and made the Lady Killer a household name.
But Green has also spent a great deal of his career quietly penning tracks for other artists, including Jennifer Hudson, Brandy, Amerie and the Pussycat Dolls.
Green even came close to working with the late pop diva Whitney Houston. The fine folks at Bling47 have unearthed a vintage (circa '07) demo that Green did for the singer. “All Alone Now,” which the record label posted Thursday, is a collaboration between Green and B47 co-founder Waajeed specifically for Houston.
Hard-rock group KISS has been dropped from the lineup of the Michael Jackson tribute concert slated for Oct. 8 in Cardiff, Wales, because of disparaging comments group member Gene Simmons has made about Jackson in the past.
Jackson fans expressed anger over the booking of KISS for the event by the promoter, Global Live Events, which has announced on the official Twitter account for the concert that fans’ wishes would be heeded.
“KISS invitation has been revoked,” according to a post on the event’s official Twitter page. “Apologies to everyone... our primary focus has been to do justice to Michael’s memory with this tribute.”
Fans objected, citing Simmons’ remarks in the days after Jackson’s death in 2009 that he believed Jackson had molested children. Jackson was acquitted of child molestation charges.
Cee Lo Green will play a free concert Thursday night at Universal CityWalk to help christen an upgraded and expanded concert stage for the shopping-entertainment complex’s “Plugged In” series of free shows.
The pop-R&B star, now also a judge on NBC-TV’s “The Voice,” is slated to appear at 8 p.m. at the new 5 Towers stage, described as an interactive outdoor concert venue incorporating light tower sculptures, thousands of LED fixtures, motion-capture sensors, a massive video screen and sound system.
Concerts by an array of pop, rock, alternative and Latin acts will be held most Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights through August, including Alien Ant Farm (Friday), Carolina Liar (July 16), Mr. Chuy (July 17), Shytown (July 23), Stealing Heather (July 30) and Dyland and Lenny (Aug. 21).
The full schedule and other details are available at CityWalk’s website, www.citywalkhollywood.com.
-- Randy Lewis
Photo of Cee Lo Green. Credit: Frank Micelotta / VH1.
The network revealed on Friday that Green is tapped to host a show dubbed “Cee Lo Green -- Talking to Strangers.” Green's new series will follow the standard talk-show format, and be heavy on interviews and performances. Confirmed guests at this point include Lupe Fiasco, Keri Hilson, Train, Estelle, Grace Potter & the Nocturnals and TV on the Radio.
In rather unsurprising news of the day, Cee Lo Green said it's a "safe assumption" that "The Voice's" judges roster -- Green, Christina Aguilera, Blake Shelton and Adam Levine -- will remain the same when the reality competition returns for its second season.
"We've already been secured for a second season, so prepare to see a lot more of myself, Christina, Blake and Adam, and a host of great artists doing their thing," Green told Billboard.
"The Voice" turned out to be a sleeper hit when its premiere logged 11.8 million total viewers, according to the Nielsen Co. Though the show was down 4% from last week, it managed to be Tuesday's top-rated prime-time program -- beating Fox's "Glee" for a second consecutive week.
Still in it's "battle round" phase, the series will begin airing live June 7.
-- Gerrick D. Kennedy
Photo: Mentor Cee Lo Green, left, shakes hands with Tje Austin, who's on his team along with the shades-sporting Nakia, before the battle round. Credit: Lewis Jacobs / NBC
The catalog of rock 'n' roll pioneer Buddy Holly has continued to thrive long after the singer's life tragically ended at 22, and it will get a fresh look this summer when artists as varied as Cee Lo Green, Kid Rock, Fiona Apple, Modest Mouse, Lou Reed and Paul McCartney will appear on the 19-track collection "Rave On Buddy Holly." To be released June 28 by Fantasy Records/Concord Music Group, "Rave On" features recently-recorded takes on Holly classics such as "That'll Be the Day," "Peggy Sue" and "Oh Boy," among others.
The set opens with bluesy revivalists the Black Keys tackling "Dearest," and comes to a close with Graham Nash revisiting "Raining In My Heart." In between, the likes of She & Him take on "Oh Boy," Modest Mouse remakes "That'll Be the Day" and Karen Elson, with husband Jack White, refashions "Crying, Waiting, Hoping." Florence + the Machine cover one of Holly's signature songs in "Not Fade Away," and Apple, largely absent since the release of her last album in 2005, teams up again with Jon Brion for "Every Day."
McCartney, long a champion of Holly's work (he produced and hosted tribute film "The Real Buddy Holly Story") sings "It's So Easy." Perhaps not coincidentally, McCartney's MPL Music Publishing administers the rights of Holly's catalog, and late last year the Beatle moved his solo work to the local independent Concord Music Group. The "Rave On" project was overseen by music supervisor Randall Poster.
A press release from Concord promises that "Rave On" "steers clear of the reverent re-creations typically found on similar projects." Florence + the Machine, for instance, are said to bring a New Orleans vibe to "Not Fade Away," a song famously covered by the Rolling Stones, and Modest Mouse are teased to bring "That'll Be the Day" into avant-garde territory.
Poster is quoted in the press release: “As the tracks from various contributors were gathered for the album, we seemed to be gathering pieces of a complex and original puzzle … that traces back to the roots of rock and roll and shapes so much of the music that followed.”
A full track list is after the jump:
On Thursday, the song rises to No. 1 on Billboard’s Mainstream Top 40 list in its 25th chart week. That makes this the longest journey to the pop chart peak in the Nielsen BDS-based radio airplay ranking’s 18-year history, according to Billboard.
The song surpasses the 23-week climb to No. 1 for Pink’s “U + Ur Hand,” which made its marathon run in 2006-07. The Mainstream Top 40 charting of “[Forget] You” is actually 30 weeks, dating to its debut on the Sep. 25 chart survey. Originally, the song reached its peak at No. 18 in October in a nine-week chart stay through Nov. 20.
Oddly enough, some key celebrity endorsements in recent months helped turn a catchy song championing a dirty word into A-rated, mainstream material.
In recent months, the song’s been trumpeted by celebrities such as William Shatner and Gwyneth Paltrow, who covered the song on “Lopez Tonight” and “Glee,” respectively. Then, of course, there was the Paltrow-Green duet at the Grammys (who can forget that peacock outfit?).
In addition, the song reached No. 1 on the Hot 100 last week and has sold 3.7 million downloads, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
-- Nate Jackson
Photo: Cee Lo Green at the 2011 Grammys Credit: Los Angeles Times
The songwriters behind smash hits from Katy Perry, Bruno Mars, Britney Spears and Beyonce discuss how they wrote the hits at a roundtable event.
It came as a bit of a surprise to see the line of eager last-minute ticket buyers and attendees stretching down the block outside West Hollywood’s Key Club on Saturday. Although Cee Lo Green, Seal and the Neptunes’ Chad Hugo were inside, they weren’t performing. Instead, they were talking songwriting along with lesser-known, behind-the-scenes hit authors Bonnie McKee, BC Jean and Claude Kelly during BMI’s How I Wrote That Song panel.
The writers behind the sticky hooks and melodies that reigned in pop and R&B sat down with Grammy-winning producer Dallas Austin and BMI Vice President Catherine Brewton for an in-depth discussion on the particulars of their respective hits.
Grammy-nominated producers discuss their lives, careers and pop music in general at a roundtable event.
In 2010, the songs were ubiquitous, even if the music producers who helped create them were less well-known: Lady Gaga's “Bad Romance,” Eminem's “Love the Way You Lie,” Cee Lo Green's “[Forget] You” and B.o.B.'s “Nothin' on You” and “Airplanes” blanketed airwaves and filled earbuds with indelible hooks and melodies.
But those hooks and melodies took work. Though they may drift out of the car stereo effortlessly, much sweat equity was spent crafting them. No one understands that process better than the music producers, whose job it is to turn an idea into a song. If the timing's right, the song hits.
In advance of the Grammy Awards, which will be held Feb. 13 in downtown Los Angeles, three of today's hottest hitmakers, RedOne (Lady Gaga, Enrique Iglesias), Alex Da Kid (Eminem, B.o.B.) and Ari Levine of the Smeezingtons (Cee Lo, Bruno Mars) sat down with Times pop music critic Ann Powers for the first Los Angeles Times Music Producers Roundtable, an intimate conversation with artists who helped shape 2010's pop-music landscape.
On Saturday evening in front of a sold-out crowd, Powers led a freewheeling conversation that sought to put into words the magic that turns a bunch of notes on paper (or, these days, a hard drive) into a hit song.
“I think the most important thing is having a vision. Being able to see things before other people can see it,” Alexander Grant — better known as Alex Da Kid — told the audience inside the Grammy Museum's Clive Davis Theater. “Most of the songs you're working on, they won't even come out for three or four months at least, maybe longer, so you have to be able to think what's going to be a hit record in six months.”
Nadir Khayat, the Moroccan-born producer known as RedOne, knows something about foresight. His best known collaborator, and muse, is Lady Gaga.
“I just saw the vision,” he said of Gaga. “I just saw this girl that could be this [huge] thing. We went to the studio and talked about Queen, Rolling Stones and Bruce Springsteen and I'm thinking, ‘Oh my gosh, she knows music,'” Khayat said. “She was inspired. I've always thought of music as one, it's a universal language. That's what we did with the sound of Lady Gaga.”