Donors at one of President Barack Obama’s fundraisers in Atlanta on Friday received at least one message loud and clear from the Obama campaign: “Fuck you.”
Singer Cee Lo Green, best known for his solo career and his work in the musical duo Gnarles Barkley, was entertaining guests at the $500-per-ticket event at Tyler Perry Studios when he prepared to launch into a performance of his song “Forget You.”
There was only one problem. Green decided, apparently at the last minute, to sing the uncensored and decidedly unpresidential version of the song — titled “Fuck You” — instead.
Before he began the profane song, though, Green attempted to exercise due diligence by flipping off the crowd and asking into his microphone, “Can I cuss?”
He did not appear to wait for an answer before he began singing.
“Ain’t that some shit?” Green asked the donors.
At that point, someone in the crowd appeared to tell Green that, in fact, foul language is generally not welcome when the President of the United States is in the room. He then continued by singing the tamer “Forget You” lyrics while laughing, apparently realizing his mistake.
The Grammy-winning singer wrote on Twitter before the event that Atlanta was “FIRED UP” for the president’s visit.
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney later told reporters aboard Air Force One that the president was a “fan” of Green’s work and probably has some of his songs on his iPod.
The president’s other two fundraisers on Friday cost between $10,000 and $35,800 per head. They featured no cursing, though a cellphone did ring as the president spoke, blaring a ringtone by rapper Ludacris.
“Woah. Got some ‘Luda’ on there?” the president asked as the crowd laughed. “I hope it’s the clean version.”