Goodie Mob’s Cee Lo Green had some explaining to do following his New Year’s Eve televised performance of late music icon John Lennon‘s “Imagine” after altering the song.

The controversy stemmed from Cee Lo simply changing one key lyric of the record.

How did you spend your New Year’s Eve? Well, if you were Cee Lo Green, you began by royally ticking off John Lennon fans, then briefly apologizing for your transgressions before finally agreeing to disagree. Yes, Green caught some heat after changing a key line to Lennon’s 1971 classic “Imagine” during his performance on NBC’s New Year’s Eve telecast — he turned the pointed “And no religion too” into the far more, uh, inclusive “And all religion’s true” — a move that drew criticism from longtime Lennon fans. In a flurry of tweets, they chastised him for everything from messing with the song’s true message to causing the late musician to roll over in his grave, a response that had Green on the defensive. (MTV)

Although initially apologizing, Cee Lo eventually deleted his Twitter remarks.

Singer Cee Lo Green ushered in the new year on a controversial note by changing a key lyric of John Lennon’s “Imagine” — and then, after apologizing on Twitter, abruptly deleting his apology. On Monday and yesterday, Green posted a handful of tweets saying what music he was listening to, beginning with the 1977 Dave Mason staple “We Just Disagree.” In response to a tweet asking if this was a comment “regarding john lennon lyrics?” Green replied, “nope just indifference in general.” (Newsday)

A few months ago, rap newcomer Ciph Boogie talked to SOHH about Lennon’s impact on hip-hop.

“He’s really had a big impact on hip-hop,” Boogie told SOHH, referring to Lennon. “I feel like if he was still alive, a lot of the Talib Kweli and Nas‘ would have done songs with him. I think if he was still alive, they’d do songs with him. He stood for a movement. He was such a dope artist. It’s like, how could you not? The songwriting, the honesty, the choruses, he was really about rebellion. Lennon was everything that hip-hop stands for. How could you not see that? He’s really like what hip-hop embodies, like close to what Kool Herc is. I hope I don’t get shot for [saying] that. He embodies what hip-hop is, it’s the whole rebellion against a system mentality. I couldn’t think of anybody else to get a bigger inspiration from.” (SOHH)

Rappers Nas and Pitbull both laid their verses down to Lennon’s 1971 “Imagine” record.

Salaam Remi got Nas on a song with John Lennon’s “Imagine” as the sample and while they waited to get sample clearance from Yoko, the song somehow fell into Pitbull’s lap and Pitbull released his own remix of it. (The 305)

Check out Cee Lo Green’s “Imagine” performance below: