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.