Saturday, March 5, 2011

Cee-Lo Green peaked at #2 with “Fuck You”

Fuck You (aka “Forget You”)

Cee-Lo Green

Writer(s): Bruno Mars, Cee-Lo Green, Philip Lawrence, Ari Levine (see lyrics here)

Released: August 19, 2010

First Charted: September 15, 2010

Peak: 2 US, 11 RR, 13 AC, 2 A40, 57 RB, 33 MR, 12 UK, 7 CN, 5 AU, 1 DF (Click for codes to charts.)

Sales (in millions): 7.0 US, 1.2 UK, 8.73 world (includes US + UK)

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 229.98 video, 559.96 streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

This “gloriously catchy Motown stomper,” as Digital Spy’s Nick Levin called it, WK came out of a Los Angeles session with Bruno Mars and Phil Lawrence of the production team the Smeezingtons. When Mars came up with the piano part, he thought it was a soul riff from the ‘60s or ‘70s. “I guess I’d know by now if it wasn’t original,” he said. They played a rough demo for Green, who liked it and then contributed many of the verse lyrics. Mars said, “When Cee-Lo got in there and sang, we all got the chills.” SF

Green told Entertainment Weekly that the lyrics about a gold-digging ex were “based on something true” but weren’t strictly autobiographical. SF He told NME magazine “it’s a fictitious account of love lost. But it’s a trial that we’ve all been through some time or another, and I think that’s why people can relate to it.” SF Cee-Lo has also said creative differences with his label, Elektra Records, served as inspiration. As he said, he did the song “to be an asshole, to be spiteful toward the label…because it had taken about three years to do The Lady Killer [album] and I just felt that after recording almost 70 sings I could not please them.” SF

The song was released in an edited version to radio. In the U.K., it was retitled “FU” and the offending words were replaced with blank spaces. In the U.S., the song was retitled “Forget You” and the sixteen F-bombs were replaced with the word “forget.” WK Green has said the milder lyrics weren’t part of the original plan. “It wasn’t like we were looking for it to be a radio hit.” SF There was also a remix released in the U.S. which featured 50 Cent and a fifth version, entitled “Thank You,” which featured new lyrics as a tribute to firefighters. WK

The song topped the charts in the Netherlands and the United Kingdom and was a top ten in multiple countries including Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Hungary, Ireland, New Zealand, Sweden, and the United States. SF In the U.S., the song originally peaked at #9 and was slipping down the charts, but after he performed it at the Grammys, it had a resurgence and hit #2 in its 26th week on the Billboard Hot 100. WK Despite never reaching the pinnacle, it became the United States’ best-selling song of 2011. WK

The song was nominated for Grammys for Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best Urban/Alternative Performance. Spin magazine named it the best song of 2010. SF


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Last updated 3/31/2024.

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