Over the past few years, we’ve seen Cee Lo Green in a variety of outrageous costumes during performances by his side project Gnarls Barkley, including Darth Vader, characters from “A Clockwork Orange,” “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” and “Napoleon Dynamite,” a roman gladiator and a bride.
But when the Goodie Mob rapper takes the stage at the Grammys on Sunday night, we’re likely to see a whole different side of the Atlanta native. After a year in which his profanely excellent “F— You” not only became a huge viral hit but also notched nominations for Song and Record of the Year, Green will play to his biggest audience with some help from one of his new Hollywood friends.
Not only will he reteam with “Country Strong” actress and pal Gwyneth Paltrow on the show, but he’ll join the long, illustrious history of musicians who’ve taken the stage with Jim Henson’s puppets for a one-of-a-kind performance.
And Henson’s son, Jim Henson Company’s Academy Award-winning chairman Brian Henson, told MTV News exclusively on Tuesday that viewers will truly see an “unforgettable” version of the song. “We have a live theater show in New York called ’Stuffed and Unstrung,’ and we’ve taken a bunch of the characters from that cast and made them into a band and backup singers for Cee Lo,” Henson said of the fuzzy puppets from the made-for-grown-ups improv show. “He’ll be backed by puppets who will make up a very weird and cool band.”
Henson said the idea to sing with the puppets came from Cee Lo, who approached the Henson Company with a concept of what he wanted to do. “We had never worked with him before, and he’s just a fabulous guy,” Henson said. “I think he’s a lifelong fan of the Muppets, and he had a pretty good idea of what he wanted.”
The folks at the Grammys are keeping a tight lid on what will happen during Green’s performance, but you can bet with the family-friendly Henson puppets onboard and the strict rules about four-letter words on prime-time TV that Cee Lo will be rocking out the G-rated “Forget You” version of the song.
Chances are he’ll also be marking the world debut of the special version of the tune he recorded with Paltrow in New York last month. The same week they tracked that song in a New York studio, Cee Lo came out during Paltrow’s “Saturday Night Live” monologue and helped her out with the lyrics to a Kenny Rogers/ Dolly Parton song.
Henson said Cee Lo made a visit to the Henson monster shop, where the singer and the puppeteers threw around some ideas and spent a while looking at puppets. “I think it will really be an unforgettable version of the song,” Henson said.
What do you expect from Cee Lo’s Grammy performance? Let us know in the comments!
Don’t miss “Snooki & Sway: Live From the Grammys,” a red-carpet live stream kicking off Sunday at 6 p.m. ET on MTV.com. And stick with us all Grammy night for coverage of the red carpet, the show, the afterparties and beyond!