Cee Lo's Arista career was short-lived, as he was dropped after only two albums due to low record sales. His first album, Cee-Lo Green and His Perfect Imperfections, was heavily in the vein of various other Dungeon Family releases, with southern soul/funk/jazz backings produced solely by himself and boasting appearances by fellow Dungeon Fam members Big Gipp and Backbone. The album explored his departure from Goodie Mob and his solo growth in the song "El Dorado Sunrise (Super Chicken)", as well as socio-political issues, and showcased his singing. The album did not sell very well, but Cee Lo achieved some airplay with the single "Closet Freak".
His second Arista album, Cee-Lo Green... Is the Soul Machine brought a more branched-out sound and more deeply explored southern rap music. This is evidenced by collaborations with Ludacris, T.I., and Pharrell and production from Timbaland, The Neptunes, and Jazze Pha among others. The only other Dungeon Family member that appeared on his second release was Big Rube. This album saw Cee Lo delve into other styles besides traditional rap. Timbaland proved to be Cee Lo's single producer as their song "I'll Be Around" received mild airplay. They performed the single on an episode in the second season of Chappelle's Show. "The One" featuring Jazze Pha and T.I. was also released as a single. On the heels of the success of Gnarls Barkley, Arista released a 17-track greatest hits collection of Cee Lo songs, Closet Freak: The Best of Cee Lo Green the Soul Machine. It features predominantly Cee Lo solo tracks and several Goodie Mob songs. His new song "What Part of Forever" has been included in The Twilight Saga: Eclipse Original Motion Picture Soundtrack.
After his second solo album, Cee Lo joined the group Gnarls Barkley (see below) with Danger Mouse, temporarily putting his solo career on hold. He would release two albums with that group, before again releasing solo material in 2010.
On August 19, 2010, Cee Lo released a single "Fuck You!" to YouTube ahead of his planned solo album release, due to its partial leak on April 13. "Fuck You!" was an instant viral smash hit, registering over two million plays in less than a week. Two weeks later on September 1, Cee Lo released to YouTube an official music video of the song. "Fuck You!" made a debut at No.1 on the UK charts, notably beating out "Shame" from the recently reunited Robbie Williams and Gary Barlow. On December 1, 2010, Cee Lo received five Grammy nominations for "Fuck You!", which has been certified Gold in the United States and Denmark. The single achieved platinum status in Canada, New Zealand, and the UK; and multi-platinum status in Australia.
When discussing his most recent album, The Lady Killer (released on November 9, 2010, by Elektra Records and Roadrunner Records), Cee Lo said: "I suppose this is a more clear, concise, consistent, conceptual, entire album. It's a complete thought, because it's written to be like a score. The album's meant to be a motion picture, you know? I've never taken that approach to doing an album before." The album was certified Gold in the UK on December 6, 2010.
Green is touring with an all-female backing band named "Scarlet Fever", performing for Taratata, the BBC, Late Show with David Letterman, W's Symmetry Live Concert Series, Saturday Night Live, the Jimmy Kimmel Live! special show following the Academy Awards, and many other venues. Green also performed "Forget You", a sanitized version of his hit "Fuck You!", with Gwyneth Paltrow and several puppets provided by The Jim Henson Company at the 53rd Annual Grammy Awards on February 13, 2011, a shoutout to Elton John, who wore a very similar costume in a Muppet show performance in 1977. At the 2011 BRIT Awards two days later, he was joined by British vocalist Paloma Faith in another duet of "Forget You". Shortly thereafter, it was announced that Green will be joining Rihanna and J. Cole on the North American leg of Rihanna Loud Tour in the summer of 2011. However, he later dropped out of the tour citing that his busy work schedule which includes his commitment to judging “The Voice”, writing a new book and recording a new album as the reason for his withdrawal.
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