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Cee Lo Green Will Not Apologize For Changing John Lennon's 'Imagine' Lyrics

Cee Lo Green
Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for Range Rover

The singer tweets, then deletes, an explanation for switching the words to John Lennon's famous song during his New Year's Eve performance.

Cee Lo Green rang in the New Year with a New Controversy. The "Forget You" singer fueled outrage after his performance on NBC's Times Square telecast for doing what many John Lennon fans deemed sacrilege: changing the lyrics to the late Beatle's song "Imagine" to say "all religion is true" instead of "and no religion too," as was Lennon's original verse.

Green, who moonlights as a judge on the NBC talent contest The Voice, performed alongside Justin BieberHot Chelle RayPitbull, and Diego Torres on the Ryan Seacrest co-hosted Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve special.

Lennon fans immediately pounced on Twitter following his solo rendition of the classic tune.

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"Cee-lo ruining John Lennon....not everything needs a remix. Although the message is relevant," wrote a reader named D'Nai. Said @kevinkieninger: "Cee Lo. There's some songs you just don't cover. Like anything by the Beatles or John Lennon."

"The whole point of that lyric is that religion causes harm. If "all [sic] relgion's true" it would be a pretty bleak place," remarked @geekysteven, summing up Lennon's anti-religion philosophy.

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Green responded to his critics on the micro-blogging site with an explanation, which he deleted after apparently changing his mind.

"Yo I meant no disrespect by changing the lyric guys!" he wrote in his erased post on the matter. "I was trying to say a world were u could believe what u wanted that's all."

But Green, in a seeming change of heart, replaced that message with this one: "Happy new year everyone!!! Now playing: we just disagree [by] dave mason." Tuesday morning, the singer posted another update saying he was listening to The Beatles' 1966 song "I'm Only Sleeping."