CeeLo Green is back with some brand new music. He recently released his fifth studio album Heart Blanche — his first album since 2012"s CeeLo"s Magic Moment, and first tracks released since his mixtape of music derived from TV show theme songs in early 2015. The new album, which was released on November 6th, includes previous singles like "Music To My Soul," his latest single "Sign of the Times," and lead single "Robin Williams" which was dedicated to the late actor who passed away in August 2014.

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Green tells princetoneclub.orgRadio of his new album, "Heart Blanche is a play on words. It comes from a term "carte blanche," which is defined as one"s ability to do as he wishes, or sees fit. Whether it is applicable to the arts, or otherwise. My application was art, and since music is a matter of the heart, I cleverly switched the words out and called it Heart Blanche. With all of that ability, I felt like I could be just wildly imaginative, uncategorizable, ambiguous, and dynamic. I think that"s what the album is about, those many qualities that give it range and variety." 

In case you hadn"t noticed before, CeeLo Green is COVERED in tattoos. In fact, he tells us that he believes he"s about 80% covered in ink, including all over his arms, back, shoulders, head, and even some on his stomach. And it all started at 17 when he tattooed his name on his right arm. After that, he was hooked! We recently caught up with CeeLo for an exclusive interview, where he spilled the details about the origins and meaning behind all of his tattoos. Read on below.

His first tattoo: his name on his right arm

"My first tattoo I got when I was around 17, and I want to throw that tattoo out. It"s under the bus because I probably was being tattooed illegally. But I was in Atlanta and I decided as young, ambitious adolescents do from time to time, to do something reckless and irresponsible, and get a tattoo. My first tattoo is my name on my bicep, and I got it in small Chinese font. When I realized that it wasn"t as painful as you would assume, I just got hooked on them, and I just started getting tattoos two or three times a week at one point."

Surrounding CeeLo"s very first tattoo is an hour glass, a fist in front of the sun with the words "Rise Again" written beneath, and next to his name tattoo is a caricature of himself. He says, "It was a little caricature. I first got myself done."


On the words tattoos on his hands and wrists

"My right hand says "Love," my left hand says, "Life." And if you can find true love in your lifetime, you end up loving life. I have "Think" and "Twice" . That"s good advice. Think twice. it"s a lyric from "Crazy.""

CeeLo says that the "Think Twice" on his wrists caught on in his family, and a few relatives also have the phrase tattooed on them. He explains, "A few of my relatives have it now, because it was so profound — the simplicity of it. poignant. So, my home boy, Curtis Harding, who is actually an artist that"s starting to bubble right now, so you all look out for him, he got it as side burns, so he"s got "Think" and "Twice," and it"s really cool on his face. And then my younger cousin has "Think twice." He"s more of a gangster type. It"s "Think twice" with a big gun between it, so it"s more like a warning for him. It"s just advice for me."

On the winking dog tattoo on his upper right arm

"This says, "I"m a good dog." But he"s winking. It"s me. He"s a good dog but a little mischievous."


On the tattoos CeeLo dedicated to his family

CeeLo has a lot of ink dedicated to his family. On his right arm he has a "One Love" tattoo that he shares with his two daughters. He tells us, "Once they got old enough, we got one tattoo alike to bond us for life."

The star singer also has a tattoo of his son, who he says, "looks like a little miniature version of me." But that"s not all. His most meaningful tattoo his dedicated to his mother, who passed away in 1995 — which is the same year he got inked in her honor.

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Rounding out his family tattoos is the tattoo located on his chest, right below his neck. It"s of his sister"s name Dee Dee.

Speaking of family, CeeLo actually has a tree tattooed on his back — one his most painful tattoos — but it is representative of his family tree. And because it was so painful, he regrets getting it. He says, "I don"t regret it for what it means. I have a huge tree on my back for the family tree, and everything that it symbolizes, but it"s unfinished because it was pretty painful. Actually, that was the most painful one. And I never went back and got it done, and I don"t care at this point. I just remember it hurting, so that"s the first thought that comes to mind about finishing it. I"m just like, "Man, I don"t want to start and stop again." But, I may have to finish it. It"s got to be beautiful."


On the religious tattoos on his chest & motorcycle tattoo on his stomach

Another painful tattoo of CeeLo"s is the Angel on his sternum, and it"s unfinished. He explains, "I have one on my sternum that"s unfinished. That was pretty painful. angel. Sometimes it has a true significance. Other times, it"s just to take up the space. It"s just something to be artful, to tie in the collage of tattoos. Make it one complete thought. But I didn"t start like that, I was just commemorating random things. My name. My mom. Georgia Bulldogs. G. Also stood for Goody Mob, too. And then I started to seek out artists who can connect things, and make it all one thing. I"m pretty covered now."

Also located on his chest on both sides of his Angel tattoo are the words "Fear God" — which CeeLo tells us is one of his favorite tattoos, along with a Chopper motorcycle located in the middle of his stomach. He tells us of the chopper tattoo, "The motorcycle kind of represented I"m a rider. And I love the logic of bikers. The one-percenters. I consider myself to be that in an artistic kind of capacity. Not lawless, but a little outside of the law. We make our own rules. And you know, born alone, die alone. The kind of rebel attitude. I have the luxury on a very consistent basis to implicate that into music."


On the Sanskrit language tattoos on his head

CeeLo has quite a few tattoos covering his head, including Tibetan Sanskrit, some slang created by a close friend, and more. He says, "I have a Tibetan Sanskrit on the back of my head. It says, "Wisdom," and then I have "Trill" that"s slang. It means "true and real." The slang was created by the legendary Pimp C of UGK. A long-time friend of mine, and family, and much to peace to the pimp."

On his GTG tattoo 

CeeLo is bonded for life with a few friends. As a group, they called themselves the Good Time Guys, and several of his buddies in the group also have a GTG tattoo. He explains, "It"s like a sorority of my home boys. We have a little crew called the Good Time Guys. For you old heads out there, we"re like The Time, meets 2 Live Crew, meets the Temptations, and we used to get together, and just on an average Tuesday, just bow ties and ascots, and just get dressed up, and go sit in a dive somewhere. Really well dressed, but somewhere in the hood." 

On plans for future tattoos

CeeLo may be 80% covered in tattoos, but that won"t stop him from getting more. However, he knows he has limited space, but he also doesn"t know what he get a tattoo of next. "If I continue on, it"ll just be about being random, and just being covered. I have limited space, so somebody has to just create something that can fit here that"s cool looking."