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Grammy Award-winning Shaffer Chimere Smith, better known as Ne Yo, began his music career in an RnB band called Envy, but his early talents were initially recognised as a songwriter. His first major success as a writer was a collaboration with Mario on the singer's hit, Let Me Love You, which led to Ne Yo signing with the Def Jam label in 2004. In 2005 he released his debut single, Stay, but it was his follow up single, So Sick, which was to launch his career in spectacular style and capture the public's imagination. So Sick went on to top the Pop 100, Hot one hundred and Hot Digital Songs chart listings in 2006. His first album, In My Own Words, was released on a wave of popularity, selling over 300,000 copies in a single week and hitting No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 200.
Three further albums followed in just over four years, each containing top 10 selling singles such as Because of You, Closer and Mad. His first love, however - songwriting - has ensured Ne Yo is in demand for collaborations with singers such as Rihanna,
Beyoncé, Mario Vazquez, Paula Deanda, Leona Lewis, Whitney Houston, Celine Dion and Enrique Iglesias, among many others. He was also scheduled to work with Michael Jackson before his untimely death. Ne Yo established Carrington House, his own recording studio in Atlanta, Georgia, in 2006 and his own production company, Compound Entertainment in 2007 and has signed future talent in the shape of artists such as Sixx John, Paula Cambell and Shanell.
As well as being a prolific songwriter and music producer, Ne Yo's talents also extend to acting and he's starred in several Hollywood films, including his debut in the 2006 Save The Last Dance 2 and Stomp The Yard in 2007. Filmmaker George Lucas was so impressed by his acting that he invited Ne Yo to star in his 2011 Red Tails and Ne Yo went on to appear in the Columbia Pictures action movie, Battle Los Angeles.
Nominated for multiple Grammy Awards, including Best Contemporary RnB Album, Best Male Pop Vocal Performance, Album of the Year, Best RnB Song and Best Male RnB Vocal Performance, Ne Yo also extends his interests to collaborations with artists of a non musical kind, and released a graphic novel with his 2010 album Libra Scale as a result of his work with Stan Lee. His most recent album, R.E.D. was released in 2012.