In My Own Words is the debut album from American singer-songwriter Ne-Yo, released on February 28, 2006. Four singles were released from the album, "Stay", "So Sick", "When You're Mad", and "Sexy Love". The first single, "Stay", was not as successful is its successors, being Ne-Yo's only song so far to not chart on the Billboard Hot 100. The album debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 with 301,000 copies sold. Ne-Yo went on tour in August 2006 with Chris Brown and Dem Franchize Boyz. The album was subsequently certified platinum with 1.6 million copies sold in the U.S., and 2 million copies sold worldwide. Upon its release, the album received generally positive reviews from most music critics, based on an aggregate score of 69/100 from Metacritic.. Metacritic. Retrieved on 2009-11-18.
Ne-Yo wrote the lyrics for each song on the album. Norwegian producers StarGate produced the hit single, "So Sick", and also contributed "Sexy Love", "Let Go", and "Time" for the debut LP. Other producers on the album include Ron "Neff-U" Feemster, Brian "B-Nasty" Reid, and Jai "King" Titus of Drama Family Entertainment, who produced the first single, "Stay", and the club-friendly "Sign Me Up" as well. "Let Me Get This Right" gets another Drama Family Entertainment.
Chart procession and succession
ReferencesThis text has been derived from In My Own Words on Wikipedia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License 3.0
Shaffer Chimere Smith, Jr. (born October 18, 1979) better known by his stage name Ne-Yo, is an American pop and R&B singer-songwriter, record producer, and actor. 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 re lease 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 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" and "Miss Independent". His fourth studio album Libra Scale was released on November 22, 2010. Ne-Yo has so far released three singles of the album, "Beautiful Monster", "Champagne Life", and "One in a Million".
Ne-Yo was born in Camden, Arkansas, and baptized as Shaffer Chimere Smith. His mother is African American, and his father is of mixed African American and Chinese descent; both were musicians. As a young child, he was raised by his mother alone after she separated from his father. In hopes of better opportunity, his mother relocated the family to Las Vegas, Nevada. While he was in high school, Smith adopted the stage name "GoGo" and joined an R&B group called Envy. The group disbanded in 2000, and Smith continued to write songs for other artists before starting his solo career.
1999–2005: Career Beginnings
NeYoJul05.jpgthumbleft150pxNe-Yo performing in July 2005
Ne-Yo emerged into the recording industry as member of the Las Vegas-based quartet Envy. 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. 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. The release of the song led to Ne-Yo being recognized as a top songwriter.
For the next two years, Ne-Yo continued writing songs, some of which have not been officially released. 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, though all of which failed to give Ne-Yo much attention from the mainstream. Ne-Yo has also contributed songs to USA singers Mary J. Blige, B2K, Faith Evans and Musiq, among others.
Ne-Yo broke into the music 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. After the successful release, Tina Davis, former A&R representative for Def Jam Recordings, arranged an informal meeting with label head L.A. Reid. Ne-Yo was not seeking a new contract, but, after he had performed for them, he was signed by rapper Jay-Z, then-CEO of Def Jam.
"Ne-Yo" was coined by a producer Ne-Yo once worked with, Big D Evans, because Evans claimed that Ne-Yo sees music as Neo sees the matrix.
As a joke, Evans started calling him Ne-Yo until everybody was accustomed to it.
2006–07: 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. During the same week, the single had reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100. Later singles released were "When You're Mad" and "Sexy Love", which peaked at number 15 and number 7, respectively. The album has been certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for a shipment of over one million units.
His second 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. The first single from the platinum-selling album was the title track, which peaked at the number-two spot. Despite the success of "Because of You", later singles released charted lower and were unable to reach the Top 20. The album has been certified platinum by RIAA for a shipment of over one million units. In December 2007, Ne-Yo and the Goo Goo Dolls performed at a fund-raising concert for the then presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama.
2008–09: 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 Pete Lewis 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."
The album sold 250,000 copies in its first week in the United States, debuting on the Billboard 200 at number two. 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 can be".
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. Year of the Gentleman has been certified platinum by RIAA for a shipment of more than one million copies. 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. The album was also released with a limited edition CD+DVD edition complete with the music videos of singles. It debuted at number four on Japan Oricon weekly albums chart, selling 55,625 copies in the first week.
2010–2011: Libra Scale
Ne-Yo released his fourth studio album, Libra Scale, on November 22, 2010. The first single, "Beautiful Monster", premiered on May 25, 2010 and was released as a digital download on June 8, 2010 and reached number 1 on UK singles chart. On October 8, 2010, Ne-Yo performed some of his songs from the new album at P.C. Richard & Son Theater in New York City that was hosted by iheartradio. The second and third singles released off of the album are "Champagne Life" and "One in a Million", respectively. Speaking of Libra Scale, Ne-Yo stated: "The album is based upon this short story which basically follows these three characters who are forced to choose between money-power-and-fame versus love. Which in turn is why I've called it 'Libra Scale'. You know, its whole concept is based on that question of morality – that, if you weight it all out on a libra scale, which one of those two options would you choose?"
Ne-Yo is set to guest-star in an upcoming episode of CSI: NY. He is to play a professional hit man.
The album debuted at number nine on the US Billboard 200, selling 112,000 copies in its first week sales in its first week. In the United Kingdom, the album debuted number eleven on the UK Albums Chart, while debuting at number one on the UK R&B Chart.
2011–present: Love and Passion and projects
Ne-Yo is currently working on his upcoming fifth studio album, due for a release in the third quarter of 2011. On 25 February 2011, while on his tour in the United Kingdom, he announced his new album would be called 'Love and Passion' and would be released in September. American rapper Fabolous is planning a collaboration album with Ne-Yo as well. Ne-Yo is currently writing songs for Mary J. Blige, Beyoncé Knowles, Justin Bieber, Monica, Alexandra Burke, Cheryl Cole and Willow Smith's upcoming albums. Ne-Yo is set star in two motion pictures Red Tails, due for a release in the third quarter of 2011, and Battle: Los Angeles, which will be released in the United States on 11 March 2011. Ne-Yo has already finished writing songs for American pop singer and Roc Nation artist Alexis Jordan and her self-titled debut album as well as Jennifer Hudson for her upcoming second studio album, I Remember Me, which is due for a North American release on the 22 March 2011.
Ne-Yo Promotion.jpgthumbrightNe-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".
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 on 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. 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.
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 Whitney Houston, Celine Dion, Anastacia, Ciara, Corbin Bleu, Enrique Iglesias and Dima Bilan. 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. 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 Paula Campbell, Sixx John, and Shanell are now associated with Compound.
He debuted on the silver screen with Save the Last Dance 2 in 2006 and later with Stomp the Yard in 2007 and Ghost Town. He contributed songs to the soundtracks to two of the films. Ne-Yo is set to star in, executive produce and write the soundtrack to the film Venice Beach.
Ne-Yo co stars in Battle: Los Angeles. His character is a slightly geeky Marine. .
In 2005 Ne-Yo's girlfriend at the time gave birth to a boy, naming him Chimere after Ne-Yo's middle name. 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.
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.
In June 2010, Ne-Yo told Ebony that he and his thought to be girlfriend, Monyetta Shaw, were expecting their first child together, a girl due early in 2011. However, when The Sun asked Ne-Yo about his baby's mother in August 2010, he said: "I have a friend. Not a girlfriend. She's carrying my child, but knows I can't commit. She doesn't mind other women." Shaw gave birth early to a girl, Madilyn Grace Smith, on November 12, 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia. Announcing the birth, Ne-Yo said of his first child, "I've been in love before but this feels like nothing I've ever felt...Like I'm in love for the first time."
* In My Own Words (2006)
* Because of You (2007)
* Year of the Gentleman (2008)
* Libra Scale (2010)
* Love and Passion (2011)
* List of awards and nominations received by Ne-Yo
ReferencesThis text has been derived from Ne-Yo on Wikipedia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License 3.0