With its video having generated 2.8 million YouTube views since it was uploaded to the website Aug. 20, soul/pop singer/songwriter/producer Cee Lo Green's "F**k You" is making its way to radio with an audience uncommonly large for a brand new song.
Still, Elektra/Roadrunner Records could face challenges for airplay due to the song's risqué title and lyrical content, even as it has serviced a profanity-free edit of the song to stations.
"I see you driving 'round town with the girl I love and I'm like, 'f**k you'," Green sings exuberantly in the uptempo song's chorus.
Co-written and produced by the Smeezingtons, featuring Green's Elektra labelmate Bruno Mars, "F**k You" is on sale at ceelogreen.com (individually or in a bundle, the latter of which includes an exclusive "F**k You" t-shirt). The song will be available at all digital retailers Aug. 27, a CD single will follow exclusively at independent record stores Sept. 21 and the clean edit will arrive at retail later this fall. Videos for both versions of the song are in production, with the first clip due to premiere next week.
Roadrunner plans to let radio discover Green's song at its own pace, rather than aggressively work it, feeling that the song's viral interest makes for the best promotional tool.
Praising the song's YouTube exposure as "incredibly explosive," Roadrunner VP/pop promotion Mike Easterlin says, "The great thing about the song is that it can play on all kinds of formats. We already have top 40, adult top 40, alternative, rhythmic and R&B/hip-hop playing it."
Since Nielsen BDS first detected airplay on the song Aug. 23, it has received 20 plays through Aug. 25 on 10 stations (among the 1,239 stations monitored for the Billboard Hot 100). Five of those 10 outlets are mainstream top 40 reporters.
Sources say Green is also not giving up on his cover of Band Of Horses' "No One's Gonna Love You," which hit the Web recently but didn't generate the buzz label executives were anticipating. The track is being remixed by the Roots' James Poyser in more of a vintage soul style than the original electro-oriented mix by Paul Epworth.
Additional reporting by Keith Caulfield