Ne-Yo: Wikis


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Background information
Birth name Shaffer Chimere Smith
Also known as Ne-Yo
Born October 18, 1979 (1979-10-18) (age 30)
Camden, Arkansas
Origin Los Angeles, California
Genres R&B, pop, soul, Hip-Hop
Occupations Singer-songwriter, record producer, actor
Instruments Vocals, piano
Years active 1999–present
Labels Def Jam
Associated acts Keri Hilson, Kanye West, Jay-Z, Ghostface Killah, Rihanna, Stargate, Beyoncé, Chrisette Michele, The Game, Ciara, Leona Lewis, Keisha Buchanan, Jadakiss, Alexandra Burke, Sugababes, Fabolous, Michael Jackson

Shaffer Chimere Smith (born October 18, 1979), better known by his stage name Ne-Yo, is an American pop and R&B singer-songwriter, record producer, actor, and occasional rapper. Since his debut, Ne-Yo has had five top ten songs on the Billboard Hot 100 as a lead artist and two number-one albums on the Billboard 200. Ne-Yo has also amassed a catalog of chart-topping songs that he has written for other artists.

Ne-Yo broke into the recording industry as a songwriter, penning the hit "Let Me Love You" for singer Mario. The single's successful release in the United States prompted an informal meeting between Ne-Yo and Def Jam's label head, and signing a recording contract.

In 2006, he released his debut album, In My Own Words, which contained the US number one hit "So Sick". Then in 2007, he released his sophomore album, Because of You which contained the US top 3 hit, "Because of You". In 2008, he released his third album, Year of the Gentleman, which contained the top 10 hits "Closer" and "Miss Independent".


Early life

Ne-Yo was born in Camden, Arkansas, and baptized as Shaffer Chimere Smith.[1] His father is African American and his mother is of mixed African American and Chinese American descent;[2] both were musicians.

As a young child, he was raised by his mother alone after she separated from his father.[3] In hopes of better opportunity, his mother relocated the family to Las Vegas, Nevada.


2000-2005: Career beginnings

Ne-Yo performing in July 2005

Ne-Yo emerged into the recording industry as member of the Las Vegas-based quartet Envy.[4] After the group disbanded in 2000, Ne-Yo was signed to Columbia Records, but, after recording his first album, was dropped from the label before he could even release it.[5] American singer Marques Houston happened to hear one of Ne-Yo's tracks, "That Girl", which was supposed to be the latter's debut single off his then-unreleased album. Houston rerecorded "That Girl" and released it as a single to his 2003 album MH.[4] The release of the song led to Ne-Yo being recognized as a top songwriter.[4]

For the next two years, Ne-Yo continued writing songs, some of which have not been officially released.[4] He contributed songs to American singer Teedra Moses's 2004 album Complex Simplicity, Christina Milian's It's About Time, and the American boy band Youngstown,[6] though all of which failed to give Ne-Yo much attention from the mainstream.[4] Ne-Yo has also contributed songs to American singer Mary J. Blige, B2K, Faith Evans and Musiq, among others.[7]

Ne-Yo broke into the industry after "Let Me Love You", a song he wrote for American singer Mario, reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100, and later stayed on the top spot for nine weeks.[6][8] After the successful release, Tina Davis, former A&R representative for Def Jam Recordings, arranged an informal meeting with label head L.A. Reid.[4] Originally, Ne-Yo was not seeking a new contract, but, after he had performed to them, he was signed by American hip hop artist Jay-Z, then-CEO of Def Jam.[5][7]

"Ne-Yo" was coined by a producer Ne-Yo once worked with, Big D Evans,[9] because Evans claimed that Ne-Yo sees music as Neo sees the matrix.[10] As a joke, Evans started calling him Ne-Yo until everybody was accustomed to it.[3]

2006-2007: In My Own Words and Because of You

In early 2006, Ne-Yo released his debut album, In My Own Words, through Def Jam. Boosted by its popular second single, "So Sick", the album debuted at number one on Billboard 200, selling over 301,000 copies in the first week.[11] During the same week, the single had reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100.[8] Later singles released were "When You're Mad" and "Sexy Love", which peaked at number 15 and number 7, respectively.[12] The album has been certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for a shipment of over one million units.[13]

His sophomore album, Because of You, was released on May 1, 2007, and, fueled by its lead single, debuted at number one on the Billboard 200, selling 251,000 copies in the United States; the feat gave Ne-Yo his second number-one album.[14] The first single from the platinum-selling album was the title track, which peaked at the number-two spot.[12] Despite the success of "Because of You", later singles released charted lower and were unable to reach the Top 20.[12] The album has been certified platinum by RIAA for a shipment of over one million units.[13] In December 2007, Ne-Yo and the Goo Goo Dolls performed at a fund-raising concert for the then presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama.[15]

2008-2010: Year of the Gentleman and Greatest Hits

Ne-Yo's third album, Year of the Gentleman, was released internationally on August 5, 2008. Speaking to noted UK R&B writer of the award-winning Blues & Soul, Ne-Yo explained the thinking behind its title: "To me 'Year Of The Gentleman' is all about a persona, a swag and a charm. I made an assessment of the music business. And, in my personal opinion, the essence of the gentleman is absent right now. Everybody kinda looks the same, everybody's kinda doing the same thing, everybody's kinda rude and full of themselves. Whereas a gentleman is calm, courteous, kind, charming... So that title basically represents me trying to lead by example, and showing these cats what it is to be a gentleman in this business still."[16]

The album sold 250,000 copies in its first week in the United States, debuting on the Billboard 200 at number two.[17] Reviews for the album were positive: in one of which, Caryn Ganz of Rolling Stone magazine wrote that Year of the Gentleman is "actually a superb concept album about what a great boyfriend he [Ne-Yo] can be".[18]

The first two singles, "Closer" and "Miss Independent", have peaked at number seven on the Billboard Hot 100. The album was nominated for Best Contemporary R&B Album and Album of the Year at the 2009 Grammy Awards, "Closer" for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance, and "Miss Independent" for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance and Best R&B Song.[19] Year of the Gentleman has been certified platinum by RIAA for a shipment of more than one million copies.[13] The third single, "Mad", peaked at number 11 on the Billboard Hot 100.

On September 2, 2009, Ne-Yo released greatest hits album Ne-Yo: The Collection in Japan.[20] The album was also released with a limited edition CD+DVD edition complete with the music videos of singles.[21] It debuted at number four on Japan Oricon weekly albums chart, selling 55,625 copies in the first week.[22]

On February 5, 2010, Ne-Yo announced in an interview with Craig Carton on WFAN that his fourth album would be released in August 2010. [23]

Other ventures

Ne-Yo promoting Because of You in 2007

Songwriting and production

Ne-Yo frequently co-writes with Tor Erik Hermansen and Mikkel S. Eriksen of the Norwegian production team Stargate. Ne-Yo met them in a hallway at Sony Music Studios in New York, and having known the team produces R&B records, he decided to collaborate with them. The collective's early works were tracks off In My Own Words including "So Sick".[24]

Aside from working on his own album, Ne-Yo also collaborates with several other artist. His works include: Rihanna's top-ten single "Unfaithful" and later her number-one hit "Take a Bow" in 2008, Mario Vazquez's "Gallery", Paula DeAnda's "Walk Away (Remember Me)", and Beyoncé Knowles' Billboard Hot 100 number-one single "Irreplaceable", which stayed on the chart for ten consecutive weeks.[1] He wrote the song "I'm You" for Leona Lewis's debut album Spirit, and is currently writing songs for her next album and for the debut album of fellow X Factor winner Alexandra Burke. He has also been working with Sugababes for their seventh album, with member Keisha Buchanan confirming that Ne-Yo had written a song called 'No More You' for their album.[25]

Ne-Yo has also written songs for Whitney Houston, Celine Dion, Anastacia, Ciara, Corbin Bleu, and Enrique Iglesias.[1][26] He also collaborated with Lindsay Lohan on her new material, having already finished "Bossy", a pre-single for her new album Spirit in the Dark.[27] Ne-Yo confirmed that he had been contacted by producer to work on what would have been Michael Jackson's new album.[28] However, at the time of Jackson's death, Ne-Yo's collaborations with him had yet to move past the writing stage.[29] In 2009, he wrote "Truth (Saigo no Shinjitsu)" for Japanese pop group w-inds..[30]

Ne-Yo ventured out to open his own recording studio called Carrington House in Atlanta, Georgia.[31] He also had started his own production company, Compound Entertainment, in 2007, and has hired several producers and songwriters in hopes of turning it into a full-pledge record label. It successfully became a label, and artists such as Paula Campbell, Sixx John, and Shanell are now associated with Compound.[5][31]

Film appearances

Ne-Yo appeared in two films. He debuted on the silver screen with Save the Last Dance 2 in 2006 and later with Stomp the Yard in 2007. He contributed songs to the soundtracks to both films.[32] Ne-Yo is set to star in, executive produce and write the soundtrack to the film Venice Beach.[33]

Personal life

Ne-Yo's then-girlfriend had a son in 2005, naming him Chimere after Ne-Yo's middle name.[1] Though Ne-Yo believed he was the father, he later discovered the child was not his. He is now in litigation with the child's mother.[34]

Ne-Yo was arrested for reckless driving on February 19, 2008, while driving through Cobb County, Georgia. He was driving at over 100 mph in his 2006 Range Rover and did not have a valid license. It was reported that he was doing about 105 mph, 50 mph over the speed limit. According to the Atlanta-Journal Constitution, Ne-Yo was sentenced to 24 hours community service by a judge on June 2, 2008. He pleaded guilty to driving without a license and pleaded "no contest" to the reckless driving charge.[35]



Year Movie Role Other notes
2007 Save the Last Dance 2 Mixx
2007 Stomp the Yard Rich Brown
2009 Red Tails Andrew 'Smoky' Salem Post-production
2011 Battle: Los Angeles TBA Filming
2011 4Chosen Keshon Moore Pre-production

See also


  1. ^ a b c d Hobbs, Linda (2007-02-27). " Ne-Yo to VIBE: "I am NOT a Sex Addict"". Vibe. Retrieved 2008-10-15. 
  2. ^ "Ne-Yo: Grammy-winning singer to perform at Halenbeck Hall". St. Cloud State University. 2008-09-25. Retrieved 2008-10-14. 
  3. ^ a b Lo, Ricky (2008). "Let Ne-Yo Love You". The Philippine Star (Philippines). 
  4. ^ a b c d e f Reeves, Mosi (2006-09-07). "Slick of It All". Miami New Times. Retrieved 2008-12-27. 
  5. ^ a b c Jones, Steve (2007-05-15). "Ne-Yo keeps tunes coming". USA Today. Retrieved 2008-12-27. 
  6. ^ a b Kellman, Any. "Neyo: Biography". Allmusic. Retrieved 2008-12-26. 
  7. ^ a b Reid, Shaheem. "Jay-Z’s Picks: Teairra Mari, Rihanna, Ne-Yo". MTV. Retrieved 2008-12-25. 
  8. ^ a b Hope, Clover (2009-03-09). "Ne-Yo Completes Chart Takeover With 'So Sick'". Billboard (Nielsen Business Media, Inc). Retrieved 2008-12-26. 
  9. ^ Scott, Kevin R. (2005-10-24). "20 Questions with Ne-Yo". Vibe. Retrieved 2008-10-21. 
  10. ^ Lorez, Jeff (2006). "Ne-Yo 2006 Interview". Soulmusic. Retrieved 2008-10-21. 
  11. ^ Hasty, Katie (2006-03-08). "Ne-Yo's 'Words' Speak Volumes At No. 1". Billboard (Nielsen Business Media, Inc). Retrieved 2008-12-26. 
  12. ^ a b c "Artist Chart History - Ne-Yo". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. Retrieved 2008-12-26. 
  13. ^ a b c "RIAA - Gold and Platinum". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 2008-12-25. 
  14. ^ Hasty, Katie (2009-05-09). "Ne-Yo Scores Second No. 1 In Debut-Heavy Week". Billboard (Nielsen Business Media, Inc). Retrieved 2008-12-26. 
  15. ^ Cathcart, Rebecca (2007-12-11). "Ne-Yo, The Goo Goo Dolls and, Oh, Yes, Barack". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-12-26. 
  16. ^ Ne-Yo interview by Pete Lewis, 'Blues & Soul' June 2008
  17. ^ Hasty, Katie (2008-09-24). "Metallica Edges Ne-Yo, Nelly To Remain No. 1". Billboard (Nielsen Business Media, Inc). Retrieved 2008-12-25. 
  18. ^ Ganz, Caryn (2008-09-18). "Year of the Gentleman : Ne-Yo : Review". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2008-09-24. 
  19. ^ Adler, Shawn (2008-12-04). "Ne-Yo Was Blown Away By His Six Grammy Nods: 'One Nomination Would Have Been Enough For Me'". MTV. Retrieved 2008-12-25. 
  20. ^ "NE-YO: The Collection [Limited Edition]". Neowing. Retrieved 2009-09-12. 
  21. ^ "NE-YO: The Collection Complete Edition [SHM-CD] [w/ DVD, Limited Edition]". Neowing. Retrieved 2009-09-12. 
  22. ^ "Oricon Ranking Search" (in Japanese). Oricon. Retrieved 2009-09-12. 
  23. ^ "Boomer&Carton Audio" (in English). WFAN. Retrieved 2010-02-05. 
  24. ^ Sisario, Ben (2007-05-06). "Wizards in the Studio, Anonymous on the Street". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-12-25. 
  25. ^
  26. ^ McDonald, Sam (2007-05-30). "The many roles of Ne-Yo". Daily Press (AccessMyLibrary). Retrieved 2008-12-24. 
  27. ^ Laudadio, Marisa; Herndon, Jessica (2008-05-07). "Listen to Lindsay Lohan's New Song 'Bossy'". People.,,20198406,00.html. Retrieved 2008-12-24. 
  28. ^ "Ne-Yo: 'I'm Not Trying To Top 'Thriller'". Starpulse. 2007-06-07. Retrieved 2008-12-24. 
  29. ^ "Michael Jackson Tribute Tour by The Jacksons, Final Collaborations With NeYo'". 2009-07-03. Retrieved 2009-07-03. 
  30. ^ "Oricon Style - United States R&B Artist Ne-Yo adds another name to w-inds. roster(Japanese)". 2009-10-30. Retrieved 2009-10-31. 
  31. ^ a b Frezza, Robert (2007-05-29). "Ne-Yo To Open Carrington House Studio". Soulshine. Retrieved 2007-09-30. 
  32. ^ "Interview: Ne-Yo". MTV. 2006. Retrieved 2008-12-26. 
  33. ^ Simmons, Leslie (2008-10-17). "Ne-Yo Pulling Triple Duty On 'Beach'". Billboard (Nielsen Business Media, Inc). Retrieved 2008-10-18. 
  34. ^ Gardner, Elysa (2008-10-31). "R&B star Ne-Yo flaunts his gentlemanly style". USA Today. Retrieved 2009-03-06. 
  35. ^ TMZ staff (2008-02-22). "Cops: Ne-Yo Was Driving CRAZY!". TMZ. Retrieved 2008-12-24. 

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