The sad truth about vocalists today is that most of them don�t write their own music. Offstage, many stars have songs concocted for them by music industry experts. These veritable �vocalist factories� churn out song after song for their artists, rarely deviating from a set style. Ne-Yo is the exception to this rule. Not only is he a double-platinum selling singer who writes his own music - he also ghostwrites for some of the biggest names in the industry.

Christina Milian, Rihanna, Mario, Jay-Z, Britney Spears, Celine Dion, Janet Jackson, Snoop Dogg, Mary J. Blige, Beyonce�Ne-Yo�s seemingly endless list of star-studded songwriting credit reads more like an astrology textbook than a resume. Throw in a Michael Jackson-esque falsetto voice, good looks, and two Platinum albums he wrote himself, and you have one of the most skilled and versatile recording artists in the business today.

Unafraid to wear his feelings on his sleeve, growing up in a female-dominated household is what Ne-Yo credits for bringing out his emotional side. His debut album In My Own Words, is the perfect example of this. The catchy, upbeat stylings of introductory track Stay and the club-friendly dance groove of Sign Me Up contrast with the playful tone of When You�re Mad and the ironic, sad single So Sick, about a heartbroken man who hates hearing love songs on the radio. Soaring to the top of the Billboard 200, Ne-Yo�s 2006 breakout album brought him from behind-the-scenes songwriter to top-notch singer.

Ne-Yo�s second album avoided the sophomore slump; in fact, it is even better than his first; 2007�s Because of You won a much deserved Grammy for Best Contemporary R&B Album in 2008. Featuring more of the same melodic vocals, unabashedly emotional lyrics, and modern urban-funk backbeats (not to mention a guest appearance by the ubiquitous Jay-Z), Ne-Yo's inability to come across as derivative or cheesy at all on the album is a testament to his skill. Standout tracks include #2 single Because of You, a shameless shout-out to early Michael Jackson, and Can We Chill, a funky love song aimed at - who else? - the ladies.

From Discogs:

American pop and R&B singer-songwriter, record producer, actor and rapper, born 18 October 1982 in Camden, Arkansas.

From Lastfm:

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.

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From Wikipedia:

Shaffer Chimere Smith (born October 18, 1979) better known by his stage name Ne-Yo, is an American R&B recording artist, record producer, dancer and actor. Beginning his career as a songwriter, Ne-Yo penned the hit "Let Me Love You" for singer Mario. The single's successful release in the United States prompted an informal meeting between Ne-Yo and Def Jam's label head, and the signing of a recording contract. He has won three Grammy Awards for his musical work.

In 2006, he released his debut album, In My Own Words, which contained the US number one hit "So Sick", as well as the top 10 hit "Sexy Love". 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, Mad and Miss Independent. His fourth studio album, Libra Scale, was released on November 22, 2010. It received critical acclaim from music critics, but was a commercial disappointment, debuting at number nine on the US Billboard 200 chart, selling less than all of his previous three studio albums. In 2009, Billboard ranked him as the 57th Artist of the 2000s decade. In addition to a successful recording career, Ne-Yo has amassed a catalog of chart-topping songs that he has written for other artists.

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