CeeLo Green, the singer, rapper and former judge on NBC's "The Voice," has returned with a new single called "Robin Williams."
“‘Robin Williams’ is a homage to our humanity, centered around the strength it takes to smile in the face of adversity,” Green said in a statement released Friday by Atlantic Records.
The song references fallen stars such as Williams, John Belushi and Phil Hartman, with a chorus that says, “We don’t know what the next man’s going through/Wish I could say it in a plainer way/I said, we don’t know life reminds me of Robin Williams/We’ve got to laugh the pain away.”
Green has kept a low public profile since pleading no contest to a felony drug charge in August 2014, for which he was given probation and community service.
The charge stemmed from a 2012 incident in Los Angeles in which a woman said Green drugged her with Ecstasy and she later woke up naked in his hotel bed.
Green, who disputed the woman's account of the events, came under fire in September 2014 for posting controversial thoughts on rape on his Twitter feed that have since been deleted, including one on August 30 that said, "If someone is passed out they're not even WITH you consciously! so WITH Implies consent. Women who have really been raped REMEMBER!!!"
He later apologized with a (since deleted) Tweet on September 3: "I truly and deeply apologize for the comments attributed to me on Twitter. Those comments were idiotic, untrue and not what I believe."
There's a second Bay Area connection to Green's latest work: an interactive lyric video for the song plays with Google's familiar interface and allows viewers to switch between tabs to see different visuals.
"Robin Williams" will appear on Green's forthcoming album "Heart Blanche," due out on November 13.