Thomas DeCarlo Callaway, better known by his stage name CeeLo Green, is an American singer, rapper, record producer, and businessman. He is known for his work in soul music, including the hit singles “Crazy” and “F*ck You”. The musician spoke openly about riding trains and robbing people, but after becoming famous, he would meet the people he stole from.
Those “before they were famous” stories are frequently comprised of tales about random jobs celebrities held prior to becoming stars. However, for some, making money meant scamming, stealing, or engaging in some other nefarious activity, as CeeLo Green did. The famous musician recently discussed his youth robberies with Page Six, and how after he became famous, some of his victims approached him to remind him that he stole from them.
I was robbing people by myself. You have to understand, I didn’t have any friends and I was not in school. My mom did not know. I dropped out of school, so I was fronting like I was [still] going. So I would leave in the morning when school started at the same time every day. I used to ride the train all day. I was like 13, 14, 15 then. I was young.
According to Green, it was six years ago when a man approached him and said that Green had robbed him many years before. Green used to rob people’s shoes and jackets back in 87-88. He admitted that he was very ignorant and young and asked for their forgiveness when he confronted them.
I used to take people’s shoes and take people’s jackets and stuff like that. I would hang out at the train station and rob people. This was like ’87, ’88. I was the guy taking people’s Jordans, unfortunately. He basically said, ‘You took my shoes at Hightower station,’ which is a MARTA train station in Atlanta, Georgia. And I said, ‘Sir, I’m so sorry. That was so long ago. I was so young and ignorant. Please forgive me.’ Then he said, ‘I already forgive you. I forgive you 1,000 times.’ He said, ‘Your music let me know that it was an intervention in your life and healing. I was able to heal from your healing.’
A woman messaged him on social media with a similar story in another interaction. The woman dropped him a DM claiming then he had once robbed her too. Green recalled robbing that woman at the bus stop for her jacket.
A young lady stopped in on Instagram and left a comment saying I had robbed her, too. I remember I robbed her at a bus stop for her jacket. I’m not proud of that stuff. All the good I proceeded to do has been intentional. My career has been intentional. It’s very concentrated for productivity’s sake because I actually love people. Music has a lot to do with being my love language.
If the music did not happen … that’s the thing, I think the music would have happened. I was not as received or welcomed as I would like to be, but maybe that was just negativity within me. People were seemingly negative toward me. I just acted out because I didn’t feel accepted. … I will keep my distance because I’m not one to be bullied. I’m not gonna be the victim, and I wasn’t. Life is a boot camp, and you have to make it through the basic training.
CeeLo Green has described himself as having been a “goon” in his youth, as well as a “kleptomaniac, pyromaniac, just plain maniac”. Green was married to Christina Johnson, and divorced in 2005. He and Johnson have a son, Kingston, born on September 30, 2000, and Green was stepfather to her daughters, Sierra and Kalah. Green’s interview is embedded below.
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