Cee Lo first entered the scene as part of the Atlanta hip hop group Goodie Mob which had a large hand in the Dirty South movement of the 1990s. Cee Lo left the group after their third album in 1999 and started his solo career. That year he sang on "Do You Like the Way" along with Lauryn Hill on Santana's multi-platinum Supernatural album. Cee Lo has three solo albums as of November 2010.
Danger Mouse has produced albums for a number of hip hop and rock artists, including Gorillaz' Demon Days. He received international attention for his mash-up The Grey Album, which blended the a cappella edition of Jay-Z's The Black Album with samples from The Beatles' White Album.
The two men first met while Cee Lo was on a tour for which Danger Mouse happened to be the DJ. They became musical partners and worked together on the songs that would become St. Elsewhere; prior to the release of that album they collaborated on the songs "What You Sittin' On?" for Lex Records in 2004, and "Benzie Box" from theDanger Doom album The Mouse and the Mask in 2005.
Danger Mouse explains that the name Gnarls Barkley came from "fictional celebrity names like Prince Gnarls and Bob Gnarley" (parodies of Prince Charles and Bob Marley, respectively) made up by their friends. When Heavens band member Josiah Steinbrick came up with "Gnarls Barkley", a parody of basketball star Charles Barkley, Burton wrote it down. In fact, earlier in their career, various radio DJs incorrectly attributed their songs to the basketball star instead of the band.
According to a Billboard article: "Burton and Cee Lo have been cagey about what the name of the act means, and each live performance is an opportunity to play dress-up as tennis players, astronauts and chefs, among many other get-ups. The costuming extends to photo shoots, as Burton and Cee Lo would rather impersonate characters from such films as Back to the Future or Wayne's World.
About Gnarls Barkley, Cee Lo said in an interview: "That is that electric industrial Euro soul, that's what I call it... if I can call it anything. It truly is shapeless and formless. My style and my approach is still water, and it runs so deep. So, with that project I got a chance to be a lil' zany, of course a continuation of eccentricity, abstract and vague, and all of those wonderful things that make art exactly what it is. And that's subject to interpretation. As far as the artiste himself, it does cater to and extend the legacy of Cee Lo Green, and showcase the diversity and range and intention of Cee Lo Green. It is a great project that I'm very, very proud of". (readmore@Wikipedia)