Ne-Yo, born on October 18, 1982, is an American songwriter, singer, dancer, recording producer, and actor. He first rose to prominence as a songwriter in 2004 when ‘Let Me Love You,’ a song he wrote for singer Mario, became a hit. It topped the Billboard Hot 100 for nine weeks and established Ne-Yo as an up-and-coming artist. The 2006 release of his ballad ‘So Sick’ skyrocketed Ne-Yo into R.&B. superstardom. He further cemented his skill by writing amazing ballads for other successful artists. Let us celebrate his birthday to thank him for the catchy tunes he’s blessed us with.
Shaffer Chimere Smith, known as Ne-Yo, was born to musicians on October 18, 1979, in Camden, Arkansas. His mother divorced his father and relocated to Las Vegas with her little boy, supporting him as he began developing his songwriting skills at an early age. He attended the Las Vegas Academy to hone his skills and joined Envy, an R.&B. group, under the stage name “GoGo.” After the group disbanded in 2000, he continued to write songs for other artists.
His industry break came when Marques Houston heard ‘That Girl,’ which Ne-Yo had intended to release as his debut single. Houston recorded his version and included it in an album, bringing attention to the young songwriter. By 2004, Smith had created pieces for well-known performers, such as Faith Evans, Christina Milian, Teedra Moses, and B2K. In the same year, Smith wrote Mario’s debut song, ‘Let Me Love You,’ a defining moment in his career, as it topped the Billboard Hot 100 for nine weeks. As a result of the album’s massive success, Tina Davis, a former artist and repertoire representative for Def Jam Recordings, introduced him to the company’s label head, who signed him. Smith made his debut in 2006 with the release of his album “In My Own Words,” a record-breaking hit that reached number one on the Billboard 200. His second single, ‘So Sick,’ also debuted at the top of the Billboard 200. Smith released his studio album, “Because of You,” in May 2007 to widespread acclaim from the public and fellow artists. He also authored songs for several successful American artists, such as ‘Take A Bow’ and ‘Unfaithful’ for Rihanna, ‘Gallery’ for Mario Vasquez, and ‘Irreplaceable’ for Beyonce.
He shares two children with his former girlfriend, Moneta Shaw, and three with his current wife, Crystal Renay.
Shaffer Smith’s ‘Let Me Love You,’ performed by Mario, is released to critical acclaim.
Smith’s debut album, “In My Own Words,” reaches the top spot of the Billboard 200.
His sophomore album, “Because of You,” earns a Grammy Award for Best Contemporary R.&B. Album.
For ‘Miss Independent,’ Smith takes home two awards, Best Male R.&B. Vocal Performance and Best R.&B. Song.
Why We Love Ne-Yo
In 2011, Smith’s Compound Foundation and its kind partners, Toys-for-Tots and The Boys and Girls Club of America donated clothes, books, and toys to 3,000 children. Founded in 2007, the organization is dedicated to helping young people in foster care and group homes obtain education and pursue their goals.
He’s true to himself
He isn’t scared to show his emotions. He famously broke down in tears during a concert in Manchester in 2009, crying so intensely that the show had to be interrupted.
He’s super talented
Ne-Yo has parlayed his songwriting prowess into collaborations with some of the music industry’s most popular performers. He defines success because he does everything for his passion, from having outstanding songwriting credits to being the chief executive officer of his label.
5 Surprising Facts
Smith’s moniker is from “The Matrix”
Big D Evans, a producer he collaborated with, came up with the name because he believes that Ne-Yo views music the same way the film’s protagonist, Neo, saw the Matrix.
His idol was Sammy Davis, Jr.
Smith studied and imitated Sammy and his Rat Pack style.
He’s been arrested
He was reportedly arrested in Georgia for speeding.
He loves writing hits
Rihanna’s ‘Take a Bow’ and Beyonce’s ‘Irreplaceable’ are among his chart-topping singles.
He’s a multicultural man
His mother is of African heritage, and his father is of mixed African and Chinese ancestry.
What does Ne-Yo do now?
The singer will be hosting the 2022 Urban One Honors.
Is Ne-Yo still married to Crystal Renay?
In August 2022, Crystal filed for divorce after six years of marriage.
Is Ne-Yo vegan?
The musician revealed that he had started a vegan diet and claimed to have shed over 30 pounds because of it.
Ne-Yo’s birthday dates