Ne-Yo considers himself a gentleman — but he wanted to make sure the world knew that with his third album, 2008’s “Year of the Gentleman.”
“The title just came from me trying to bring a little bit of class and integrity back into this game,” the R&B singer and songwriter (real name Shaffer Smith), says of “Gentleman,” which debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 chart in September and has been certified gold.
He also won a pair of Grammy Awards for the single “Miss Independent.”
“I feel that a gentleman is somebody who everybody loves — he’s charming and he’s honest and he’s real,” adds Ne-Yo, 29. “The music on this record ... is very, very classy, very charming and real. It’s passionate, and it’s a little something for everybody. It’s universal — like a gentleman.”
“Gentleman” wasn’t Ne-Yo’s only triumph of late. As active writing for others as he is for himself, he also scored hits with Jennifer Hudson, Rihanna, Usher and John Legend, among others, and was particularly proud to have a part in British singer Leona Lewis’ success story.
“She’s beautiful,” says Ne-Yo, who’s also penned material for upcoming releases by Whitney Houston and Michael Jackson. “Her voice is incredible. She has all the ingredients to be a major star, so I’m not surprised at all that she’s doing so well. I’m really, really happy for her.”
Ne-Yo, Musiq Soulchild and Jazmine Sullivan perform at 8 p.m. Saturday (Feb. 28) at the Fox Theatre, 2211 Woodward Ave., Detroit. Tickets are $38-$88. Call (313) 471-6611 or visit www.olympiaentertainment.com.
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