After gaining critical acclaim as a member of Goodie Mob and before his success both as a soloist and member of Gnarls Barkley, Cee-Lo Green enjoyed one of his biggest commercial hits by penning a hit for a group of four scantily clad women.
“A lot of people don’t know I wrote and produced ‘Don’t ‘Cha’ by the Pussycat Dolls,” Cee-Lo explained during his performance for VH1’s “Storytellers” series. “I originally wrote that song for an artist that was up under me at the time--Tori Alamaze. She did the original version of the song, and it was great. I gotta say in all honesty, she wasn’t the ‘Don’t ‘Cha’ girl.”
Ultimately, due to a label decision, Cee-Lo wouldn’t get a chance to oversee Alamaze’s career on a major label, but record executives were still very much interested in “Don’t “Cha.”
“When ‘Don’t ‘Cha’ was going around it became this kind of renegade record without a face to it,” Cee-Lo added. “Everybody was going, ‘Who is the ‘Don’t ‘Cha’ girl? Nobody knew I had anything to do with it. I remember Puffy asking, ‘Who is the Don’t ‘Cha girl? Where she at?’ Everybody was expecting this big Amazon; this big creature of a woman…like Grace Jones or somebody.”
Prior to 2010’s “Fuck You,” the song “Don’t ‘Cha” was Cee-Lo’s biggest commercial success. In addition to being certified platinum as a physical single, it sold over 3 million legal, digital downloads. Cee-Lo said he and Alamaze remain friends, and the name “Pussycat Dolls” is still trademarked as a burlesque act by Robin Antin. The four women who comprise the musical group Pussycat Dolls have since disbanded after releasing two albums on Interscope.