Andrew H. Walker, Getty Images Nine days after the deadly tornado that touched…
- Posted on Sep 10th 2011 1:15PM by Joshua Ostroff
Jonathan Leibson, Getty Images
"Toronto has got a lot of excitement to it. I always feel a very positive vibe when I'm here and shown a lot of love and the same love is reciprocated," Cee Lo said prior to taking the stage, while chilling out in a "green room" on the empty 7th floor of a skyscraper across the road from the TIFF party at the South of Temperance club.
The party was in Clooney's honour and Cee Lo said he'd met him a few years earlier in Las Vegas. "We were touring as Gnarls Barkley and had a show at the Red Rock and he just happened to be there. We were invited to a private function with him and a couple of his buddies. And some ladies, too," he added with a wide grin.
Cee Lo noted how surreal it is to have movie stars of Clooney's ilk becoming his fans. "Quite a bit has happened in a very short amount of time, in the last year I've been more visible than I've ever been. But a lot of people don't know it's taken 18 years to become an overnight success. So it's really cool to see people I'm very much in awe of, and a fan of, also have that same feeling about me."
As for whether or not Cee Lo will follow his friends in OutKast, and innumerable other musicians, into movie world, the soul singer said that prospects are starting to present themselves, and he's clocked some voiceover work already. "My feet are already wet, so by the time I make the big splash I think I'll be OK. But I don't want to be stretched too thin or do too much at a time. I definitely want to do the best I can do in each capacity. I still have a lot of music left in me and it's truly where my heart and where my head is at. I have a few more things I want to accomplish as far as that's concerned, and I have time to expand on acting."
And then the three-time Grammy winner preceded to blow some minds, walking onstage unannounced as the VIPs suddenly realized that the 'Bright Lights, Bigger City' rendition they were hearing wasn't coming from the DJ booth.
He then, rather appropriately, broke out into his song 'Champagne' before stripping down to a white T and running through his catalogue of sweaty sex jams, his bright smile mixing in some sweetness, culminating with a cover of 'Don't Cha' as he asked the celeb-studded crowd: "Don't Cha wish your boyfriend was a freak like me?"
Cee Lo saved the best for last, of course, causing the crowd to take his song title quite literally as he broke into 'Crazy,' delivering an impassioned performance of his Gnarls Barkley hit that segued into Moby's 'Natural Blues' with Cee Lo crooning, "Oh lawdy, trouble so hard."
Next came his barnburner 'F--- You,' on which he didn't even get a chance to sing his own curse-filled chorus as the crowd filled in the blanks with emphatic exuberance. Then, just to up the ante, his partner in crime behind the decks, DJ Rashida, mixed in Nirvana's 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' as Cee Lo and the audience moshed his spectacular surprise appearance to climactic close.