He was born Thomas DeCarlo Callaway in Atlanta, Georgia, but is best known by his stage name, Cee Lo Green. Both his parents were ordained ministers and he started his music career in church. His father died when he was two years old, and when he was 18, his mother was involved in a car crash, leaving her paralyzed. She died two years later.
At the time, Cee Lo's career with the southern hip hop group Goodie Mob had just begun taking off. (The Goodie Mob were a part of the Atlanta rap collective the Dungeon Family, which also included OutKast.)
Cee Lo's depression after his mother's death led is evident in various songs throughout his career, including "Free" by Goodie Mob, songs on St. Elsewhere, and on The Odd Couple ("She Knows," "A Little Better"). Cee Lo also expresses his love for his mother in the song "Guess Who" from Goodie Mob's Soul Food album.
The group's second album, Still Standing came out in 1998 and also received much critical praise. By now, Cee Lo focused primarily on rapping over singing. Cee Lo took more creative control on the group's next album, World Party.
During the making of the album World Party, Cee Lo left the group to pursue a solo career under Arista and the remaining members continued to perform together under the Goodie Mob name with Koch Records. They did however collaborate in combinations in the Dungeon Family album Even in Darkness.
In 1999, Cee Lo, credited as "Cee-Lo" was one of ten famous guest musicians who contributed to the highly successful Santana album Supernatural.
Internationally, Cee Lo is best known for his work within the hip hop duo Gnarls Barkley along with DJ Danger Mouse. (Gnarls Barkley is named after former basketball star Charles Barkley.)
Cee Lo, taking a break from recording with Gnarls Barkley, released the single "Fuck You!" in August 2010 as a solo recording artist. The song was an instant hit. It has been certified Gold in the U.S, and Denmark. It reached platinum status in Canada, New Zealand, and the UK; and multi-platinum status in Australia.
On December 1, 2010, Cee Lo received five Grammy nominations for "Fuck You!" which His solo album, The Lady Killer was also successful, reaching the top five of the UK Album Charts and debuting within the top ten on the Billboard 200 album charts. His second single "It's OK" was a hit in Europe and the third single, "Bright Lights Bigger City" has also seen similar charting success.
Cee Lo is currently a vocal coach on the NBC reality talent show The Voice with Adam Levine, Christina Aguilera, and