Performers of the world, take note: taking artistic license with a classic is only laudable if you're an American Idol contestant. Not if you're singing one of the most beloved and lyrically familiar tunes of the last century on network TV on New Year's Eve.
Though apparently, someone forgot to inform CeeLo Green of that fact.
The "F--k You" singer has found himself at the receiving end of that very sentiment and at the center of a budding scandal after he took to the Times Square stage on NBC's New Year's Eve With Carson Daly to perform John Lennon's "Imagine." The problem? In doing so, he changed one of the most frequently (and meaningfully) recited lyrics of the song.
Rather than singing, "Nothing to kill or die for/ And no religion too," Green sang out, "Nothing to kill or die for/ And all religions true."
Needless to say, fans noticed the change. And they were not happy, bombarding his Twitter account with criticism that he not only ruined the song, but, from the most ardent of his haters, that he disrespected and disgraced Lennon's message by entirely subverting the meaning of the line.
"Yo I meant no disrespect by changing the lyric guys!" he wrote in a tweet that has since been removed from his account. "I was trying to say a world were u could believe what u wanted that's all."
But not sing what you wanted.
But despite Cee Lo having wiped his apologetic tweet from his account, he hasn't let the matter go entirely.
Too loaded to be a coincidence, he tweeted yesterday, "Now playing: we just disagree: dave mason." When asked if it was in regard to the lyric scandal, he replied, "Nope just indifference in general."
However, he's obviously brushing up on his Lennon canon. Late last night he tweeted again.
"Now playing:I'm only sleeping: the beatles." Hey, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em.