Singer, dancer and songwriter Ne-Yo, also known as Shaffer Chimere Smith, Jr., entered the American music industry first as a songwriter, and later as a singer. Ne-Yo’s first well-known single, «Let Me Love You» was performed by another singer who raised the work of the young representative of pop and rhythm & blues scene at the very top of U.S. charts and it stayed there for some time.
His debut album «In My Own Words» was released in 2006. It was in top of the charts in the very first week due to singles «So Sick», «When You're Mad» and «Sexy Love». In the same week «So Sick» achieved the first position in the charts and later the album was certified platinum. A year later, Ne-Yo released his second album, with eponymous single «Because of You» as the driving force it getting certified platinum as well. However, his second LP’s popularity was slightly below that of his debut due to the lesser number of hits.
In addition to certifying platinum, Ne-Yo’s third album titled «Year of the Gentleman» inspired the change of style to a more "gentlemanish" : the songs were more romantic, music videos actively featured suits and hats, which was so uncharacteristic of the rhythm and blues stage back then. According to the artist, in this album he tried to add certain aesthetics to the music. The one that is not common of other modern compositions: "I wanted to go back to those times when you left the house only when you were firmly convinced that you look your best." With this aesthetics and overall musicality of the compositions, the album was received very warmly by critics and resulted in six Grammy nominations, two of which were winning. This success fell at the flagship of the «Year of the Gentleman» only – the single «Miss Independent». Two other singles - «Closer» and «Mad» - albeit made a great appearance in the international arena, did bring no rewards whatsoever.
In November 2010 Ne-Yo released the fourth album, dubbed «Libra Scale». In developing the concept of this album, the performer was driven by the desire to create something different from his previous works. At the time of writing songs for this album he was under the influence of science fiction and Japanese anime. Initially it was planned to create a short film in support of the album, but this idea ultimately proved unprofitable. Ne-Yo had to go back to the usual music videos. As he admitted later, the screenplay greatly influenced the songs, giving them certain common themes.
At the moment Ne-Yo is preparing to release a new album under the working title «The Cracks in Mr. Perfect ». This album will be released in 2012.
In addition to writing his own songs, Shaffer Smith continues working with other artists. He has written some of the songs for Rihanna, Beyonce, Whitney Houston, Celine Dion, Lindsay Lohan, Mariah Carey and others. He also managed to star in several films and television series and plans to continue the career of an actor in the future.