It may be hard to believe after seeing him wear a chicken costume at this year's Grammys and a Darth Vader costume at the 2006 MTV Movie Awards, but Cee Lo Green — the man behind the hit revenge anthem "Forget You" — insists he's really not that different from you and I.
"I'm a normal guy at heart," said Green, sporting a plain black T-shirt and sweatpants after rehearsing for Macy's Glamorama at the Chicago Theatre Friday. "But, on stage, they don't pay me for normal."
Green's outfit during his Lollapalooza performance Aug. 6 was hardly normal. The 37-year-old singer wore spiked black shoulder pads and during the show told the audience, "Don't you dare let this wonderful outfit go to waste."
His inspiration? Professional wrestling and heavy metal.
"I got those shoulder pads from the Road Warriors," Green said of the legendary World Wrestling Federation tag team, also known as Legion of Doom. "I'm a big, big fan of theirs. I told my assistant stylist 'I want these made.' It's punk, it's rock, it's metal. It's equal parts Road Warriors and Judas Priest.
"As a matter of fact, I've become cool with (the Road Warriors' Animal) the last few weeks because he's honored that I would live out their legacy. This means that something that they did so long ago was not in vain."
Green's inspiration for the colorful chicken costume, which he wore at the Grammys while performing "Forget You" with Gwyneth Paltrow, also came from the entertainment world.
"When it comes to the stage, I can't help but be inspired by people like George Clinton, Elton John and Alice Cooper," said Green. "The chicken suit was from Elton John. He wore it on 'The Muppet Show' in 1977."
Surprisingly, Green played it safe with his outfit during his appearance at the Glamorama fashion show over the weekend, which raised around $350,000 for Ronald McDonald House Charities of Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana. While opening act Far East Movement wore suspenders and ties, Green opted for a silk shirt and jean shorts and, well, that's it. But as he told me after rehearsal, he can't always shock people.
"My style is ambiguous and lucid," Green said. "I wish to be signified but not summed-up. I don't want to have to go over the top each time."
Still, Green admitted he did show signs of flamboyance even as a 5-year-old child.
"I was like the kid on 'Daddy Day Care' that wore the Flash costume," Green said, referring to the 2003 Eddie Murphy comedy. "Except I was wearing a Batman suit for months at a time."Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun