Before NBC’s hit singing competition “The Voice” kicks off its finals phase and transitions to live broadcasts beginning June 7, Cee Lo Green tells Billboard.com that he and the other judges — Christina Aguilera, Blake Shelton and Adam Levine — are all likely returning for the show’s second season later this year.
“We’ve already been secured for a second season, so prepare to see a lot more of myself, Christina, Blake and Adam, and a host of great artists doing their thing,” says Green. When asked whether or not all four judges will definitely be back, the R&B singer says, “That would be the safe assumption. I haven’t heard anything other than that. I’ll be there, that’s for sure.”
In the meantime, fans of both Green and Aguilera can check out “Nasty,” a new duet that leaked online this month. Green says that he kicked the song around for years before recording a version with Aguilera for the soundtrack of her 2010 movie, “Burlesque.”
Although the song wasn’t finished in time to make the album, Green says that he’s happy it has seen the light of day. “Christina’s one of my favorite voices to listen to… They never gave up on that record, and it’s a great song,” he notes.
While he’s not sure if “Nasty” will ever be officially released, he says that he and Aguilera could very well perform the track on an upcoming episode of “The Voice.” “Most likely, once the incomparable [executive producer] Mark Burnett hears this song, I wouldn’t doubt for a second that he strongly suggests that we would do it,” he says.
While Green says that his commitment to “The Voice” — as well as an arena tour supporting Rihanna that kicks off June 4 — has made it “increasingly difficult to focus” on new music, but notes that his experience on the reality show has thus far been “very gratifying.” He also says that he respectfully disagrees with “American Idol” judge Randy Jackson, who described the concept of “The Voice” as “spinning around with gimmicky chairs” in an interview earlier this months.
“Randy is a personal friend of mine, and he is well within his rights to voice his opinion,” says Green. “I believe that’s a little harsh to say that that’s ‘gimmicky.’ I don’t believe that to be true… I believe that it was very savvy of the creators of ‘The Voice’ to give it a different spin. And that spin gives us an opportunity to co-exist [with ‘Idol’]. I don’t believe we’re competing; I believe there is a co-existence.”
Following a Grammy performance that combined his hit single “F–k You” with a host of colorful muppets, Green is set to hit the stage at the 2011 Billboard Music Awards — although he’s staying silent as to what he has up his sleeve this time around. “Please allow me to surprise you completely with that performance,” he says with a laugh.