Thomas DeCarlo Callaway-Burton, widely known as Cee Lo Green, is a reputable artist and pioneer of Southern Hip Hop. The Atlanta native is a versatile performer who has released several albums. His work also extends past his solo career, as he has released music as a part of two successful groups – Goodie Mob and Gnarls Barkley. Cee Lo Green’s hits also transcend one specific genre. His music covers R&B, Hip Hop, Neo-Soul, Funk, Pop, and more.
Cee Lo Green’s influence on Southern music is indelible. As a member of Goodie Mob, Green and his fellow group members served to push the sound into mainstream consciousness. The group has been active since 1991 and most recently released their sixth studio album Survival Kit in 2020. Gnarls Barkley is a duo consisting of Cee Lo Green and producer Danger Mouse. Together, the pair have released two albums and a host of singles. The team kicked off in 2003 and went on an indefinite hiatus in 2010. Overall, Cee Lo has a whopping thirteen studio albums under his belt.
Cee Lo’s hits have proved his longevity and earned him a spot on the list of Hip Hop’s most revered acts. He has gained recognition from the studio to the stage for his powerhouse vocals, smooth jazzy tone, and incredible presence. Here are Cee Lo Green’s biggest hits.
7. “Smiley Faces” (2006)
The follow-up to Gnarls Barkley’s chart-topping “Crazy” was “Smiley Faces.” By comparison, the single failed to achieve the overwhelming success of its predecessor. Nonetheless, “Smiley Faces” was met favorably and performed well in Europe. In the UK, the song peaked at the No. 10 spot.
6. “Bright Lights Bigger City” (2011)
“Bright Lights Bigger City” was released as the fourth single from Cee Lo’s third album, The Lady Killer. The single was a moderate success in Europe and subsequently topped the charts in Israel. “Bright Lights Bigger City” is a boogie, funky number reminiscent of the 70s disco scene.
5. “Soul Food” (1995)
In 1995, Goodie Mob released the album Soul Food. The title track became a Southern staple for its ode to Southern-style food, popularly termed “Soul Food.” The single also plays on the group members’ life choices and how they’ve served to become food for the soul. “Soul Food” featured Sleepy Brown and has become one of Goodie Mob’s signature songs.
4. “It’s OK” (2010)
After the success of “F* k You!” in mid-2010, Cee Lo released “It’s OK.” The single was uptempo, as well as brilliantly written. Like many of Cee Lo’s hits, “It’s OK” documented the topic of heartbreak. The single was praised for its Motown-esque and Northern soul sound, coupled with Cee Lo’s vocals.
3. “Cell Therapy” (1995)
“Cell Therapy” was the first song Goodie Mob ever released. A trademark song, “Cell Therapy” tells the story of several injustices African American communities face. It addressed several issues, including government propaganda, drug addiction, and more. The song remains the only song to chart in the Top 40 on the Billboard Hot 100. Additionally, “Cell Therapy” topped the Billboard Hot Rap Singles and ended the year as one of the most successful rap songs of 1995.
2. “Crazy” (2006)
Gnarls Barkley was formed in 2003, before the release of Cee Lo’s sophomore studio album. After that, the duo would achieve global success with their debut single, “Crazy.” The song would later become a chart-topping hit in the UK, Canada, Denmark, and many others. In addition to this, “Crazy” hit the second position on the Billboard Hot 100.
A monumental hit, “Crazy” appeared on several notable films and television shows, including Grey’s Anatomy and Kick-Ass. The song won the Grammy Award for Best Urban/Alternative Performance. It eventually became the best-selling single of 2006 in the UK. A unique fact about the song is that Danger Mouse once shared that “Crazy” was recorded in just one take.
1. “F**k You!” (2010)
Unarguably Cee Lo’s biggest hit to date, the singer achieved insurmountable success with “F**k You!” The track was the first single off his third solo album, The Lady Killer. On the surface, “F**k You!” is simply about a breakup, but Cee Lo has also claimed the song is about the music industry. The single become a global hit, topping the charts in the UK, Scotland, and Netherlands. On the Billboard Hot 100, the song reached the penultimate spot, becoming his highest charting song to date.
“F**k You!” has also become Cee Lo’s signature song and has been performed live numerous times. The single, which featured witty lyrics, was lauded by fans and critics alike. The single also highlighted Cee Lo’s durability as an artist, charting more than 15 years after his first appearance. Furthermore, the song was nominated for three Grammys, including Record of the Year, and Song of the Year. It eventually went on to win the Best Urban/Alternative Performance Award.