Singer CeeLo Green released a song called “Robin Williams” which is a tribute to the late actor. Williams, a seemingly happy man, was battling depression and committed suicide in August 2014. “Robin Williams” is the first single from Green’s album Heart Blanche. Although the song is good, I can’t help but think that it’s a blatant cash-grab.
The upbeat and catchy song features lyrics that relate to Williams and his battle with depression. The lines “we don’t know what the next man’s going through” and “life reminds me of Robin Williams / we’ve got to laugh the pain away” work as parts of the hook. The production on the track is bubbly and CeeLo’s vocals sound good. Along with references to the Mrs. Doubtfire star, Green also mentions other celebrities who have passed away such as John Belushi and Philip Seymour Hoffman. This song really has potential to be a hit and it has an uplifting feel to it, but it leaves a bad taste in my mouth.
I can’t help but think that CeeLo was motivated to make this after the huge success of Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth’s “See You Again” – a tribute to the late Paul Walker. The song was released for the Furious 7 soundtrack and went on to hold the number one spot on the Billboard Hot 100 for twelve non-consecutive weeks. The song was made specifically for the movie and in good taste. So now here comes CeeLo Green, who hasn’t had a hit single since his 2010 song “F**k You,” releasing a catchy song about a late actor who is even more beloved than Paul Walker. I don’t think that this is a coincidence.
As I listen to “Robin Williams,” it just doesn’t seem sincere to me. If this song was released soon after Williams’s death then I would feel differently. But Green released this song almost a year after the tragedy and only four months after the release of a highly successful tribute song. With that being said, it is still a good track that will surely be enjoyed by many. And, sincere or not, it is a nice tribute to Robin Williams.