Book – Ne-Yo – Artist Management
Family Productions Agency – Book Ne-Yo
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 American singer 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. Originally, Ne-Yo was not seeking a new contract, but, after he had performed for them, he was signed by American hip hop artist 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.
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, respective. The album has been certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for a shipment of over one million units.
His sophomore 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.
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 [Ne-Yo] 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.
Ne-Yo will release his fourth studio album, Libra Scale, on 27th October 2010 in Japan. 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. 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?”