Shaffer Chimere Smith a.k.a Ne-Yo was born in October 1979 in Arkansas. After relocating to Las Vegas with his mother, he adopted the stage name “GoGo” and joined an R&B group called “Envy”. After the group parted ways in 2000, Smith focused on becoming an established r&b songwriter before embarking on his own solo music career. He was then given the stage name, Ne-Yo, after the hit movie, “The Matrix” because according to those who knew him best, “Ne-Yo saw music in the same way that Neo saw the matrix”.
Ne-Yo began to make a name for himself as a successful r&b song writer having penned hit records for artists such as Mario, Marques Houston, Teedra Moses, Mary J Blige, B2K and many more. After giving these artists hit after hit, he was sought out by Def Jam Recordings and Jay Z (who was the CEO of Def Jam at the time) signed Ne-Yo to a recording deal after he performed during a meeting for the head executives.
Ne-Yo’s first single, “So Sick” and album, “In My Own Words” were both released under Def Jam in 2006 which earned him the number one spot on the Billboard 200 chart. His second album did even better than his first, and earned him the title of a platinum selling artist. Since then, Ne-Yo has had four successful albums and has been credited for writing some of the biggest r&b songs of our generation including Rihanna’s “Take A Bow”, and Beyonce’s “Irreplaceable”. His success as a singer and songwriter has earned him multiple BET Music Awards, MTV VMA Awards, Soul Train Music Awards and Grammy Awards.
Ne-Yo has had just as much success in his personal life as he’s had in his professional music career. In 2010, Ne-Yo and his girlfriend, Monyetta Shaw, welcomed their first child, Madilyn Grace Smith, into the world, and in 2011 the couple welcome their second child, Mason Evan Smith. The couple has since gotten engaged and plan to be married in the future.
Aside from singing and songwriting, Ne-Yo has also established himself as an actor having made appearances in movies such as “Stomp The Yard”, “Battle: Los Angeles” and “Red Tails”. Earlier in 2012, Ne-Yo made a huge transition from Def Jam Records to Motown Records where he currently serves at the Vice President of A&R of Motown. He was also inducted into the songwriter’s hall of fame in June 2012 and is currently preparing for the September release of his fifth studio album, “R.E.D.” having released the first single “Lazy Love” earlier this summer. Singer, songwriter, producer, actor, father and entrepreneur are just some of the many titles t