Ne-Yo is a Grammy Award winning R&B recording artist, record producer, dancer and actor. Beginning his career as a songwriter, Ne-Yo penned 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 the signing of a recording contract.
In 2006, Ne-Yo released his debut album, In My Own Words, which contained the US number one hit “So Sick”, as well as the top 10 hit “Sexy Love”. In 2007, he released his second 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, Mad and Miss Independent. His fourth studio album, Libra Scale, was released on November 22, 2010. It received critical acclaim from music critics, but was a commercial disappointment, debuting at number nine on the US Billboard 200 chart, selling less than all of his previous three studio albums. In 2009, Billboard ranked him as the 57th Artist of the 2000s decade.
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.
Aside from working on his own album, Ne-Yo also collaborates with several other artists. His works include: Rihanna’s top-ten singles Unfaithful, Russian Roulette” and her number-one hit “Take a Bow, Mario Vazquez’s Gallery, Paula DeAnda’s Walk Away (Remember Me), and Beyoncé Knowles’ Billboard Hot 100 number-one single Irreplaceable, which stayed at the top of the chart for ten consecutive weeks. 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.
Ne-Yo 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. In 2010, he dueted with Mariah Carey on ‘Angel’s Cry’, a song on her cancelled album, Angels Advocate. Ne-Yo has also written songs for Celine Dion, Whitney Houston, Carrie Underwood, Anastacia, Ciara, Corbin Bleu, Enrique Iglesias and Dima Bilan.
Ne-Yo also collaborated with Lindsay Lohan on her new material, having already finished “Bossy”, a pre-single for her new album Spirit in the Dark. Ne-Yo confirmed that he had been contacted by producer will.i.am to work on what would have been Michael Jackson’s new album. However, at the time of Jackson’s death, Ne-Yo’s collaborations with him had yet to move past the writing stage.
In an interview in 2010 he said since Jackson’s death he’s been confused as what to do with the songs, as he feels that selling them to another artist or even releasing the songs himself would be disrespectful to Jackson legacy. In 2009, he wrote Truth (Saigo no Shinjitsu) for Japanese pop group w-inds..
Ne-Yo ventured out to open his own recording studio called Carrington House in Atlanta, Georgia. 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-fledge record label. It successfully became a label, and artists such as RaVaughn, Paula Campbell, Sixx John, Adrienne Bailon and Shanell are now associated with Compound.
How Ne-Yo Made His Money – R&B Music
Estimated Net Worth: $16 Million
Birthday: October 18, 1979
[image via Jennifer Su]