By William E. Ketchum III
This year Cee Lo got a taste of reality TV as a judge on the music show “The Voice,” and according to the New York Times he isn’t letting it stop there. Backstage at the season finale of “The Voice” in June, veteran reality-TV producer Mark Burnett decided to continue his work with Cee Lo by offering him a contact for a new show. On “Cee Lo Takes the U.K.,” the rapper/singer’s critically-lauded group Goodie Mob will record its reunion album in London and “soak up the local customs.”
Next year, Cee Lo will also perform alongside Celine Dion and Prince in “Loberace,” a theatrical show that will be presented at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas. The article points out that Cee Lo’s numerous endorsements for 7Up soda, Absolut Vodka, Duracell, and Pretzel M&Ms. Not bad for an artist who, despite having major hit songs like “F— You” and “Crazy” (the latter as the frontman of duo Gnarls Barkley), hasn’t even had a solo album go gold.
“He has a very strong brand, an unusual look and a great sense of fun,” Burnett said. He enlisted Cee Lo for “The Voice” after seeing him on “Saturday Night Live.” “It’s a sense of theatrical, big-scale fun. It’s not just singing. It’s a real show with Cee Lo.”
“There’s security in being a brand; there’s certainty in being a brand,” Cee Lo continued. “McDonald’s is a brand. And when you get your fix for a Big Mac, where do you go? There’s only one place you can go for a Big Mac, and that’s big McDonald’s. But my brand has a broader horizon, because my brand is, ‘Whatever you think you want, I just may be able to give it to you.’ ”