Shaffer Chimere Smith (born on October 18, 1979 in Camden, Arkansas), better known by his stage name Ne-Yo, is a Grammy Award winning American R&B singer, producer and actor currently signed to Def Jam Records. In 2006 he released his debut album In My Own Words, which featured the hit single So Sick. The song reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and helped his album debut at #1 on the Billboard 200. He has since released 2007’s Grammy award winning Because of You and 2008’s Year of the Gentleman, and his fourth LP, Libra Scale, was released on November 22nd, 2010. The initial single was UK #1 Beautiful Monster. Champagne Life and One In A Million followed.
Ne-Yo was a beautiful song writer before he became a recording artist. He has written songs for a number of artists, including Mary J. Blige, Ruben Studdard, Marques Houston, Faith Evans, Christina Milian, B2K, Nivea, Tyrese, Jamie Foxx , Heather Headley,and Mario . After coming off a bad deal with Columbia Records, Ne-Yo originally decided to remain as a songwriter until a close friend introduced him to L.A. Reid who signed him to Def Jam Records on the spot.
The origin of the name Ne-Yo was given by a mutual friend in 1999 who called him Neo because he could ‘see’ music akin to the character Neo from The Matrix trilogy. He altered the ‘-yo’ part as an homage to his hip hop roots.
The singer spent much of 2013 collaborating with other artists, including Akon, David Guetta, Cher Lloyd, and Celine Dion. The build-up to Non-Fiction, Ne-Yo's sixth studio album, started during the first half of 2014 with the release of "Money Can't Buy," a single featuring Jeezy that failed to crack the Top 40 of the R&B/Hip-Hop chart. Additional collaborative singles with Juicy J ("She Knows") and Pitbull ("Time of Our Lives") fared better commercially. The parent album arrived in January 2015.