Shaffer Chimere Smith (born October 18, 1979), better known by his stage name Ne-Yo, is an American R&B singer, songwriter, record producer, dancer, and actor. Ne-Yo gained fame for his song-writing abilities when he penned the 2004 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.
Ne-Yo was born in Camden, Arkansas. His father is of African American and Chinese descent, and his mother is African-American. Both his parents were musicians. As a young child, he was raised by his mother after she separated from his father. In hopes of better opportunity, his mother relocated the family to Las Vegas, Nevada.
While in the Las Vegas Academy, Smith adopted the stage name "GoGo" and joined an R&B group called Envy, who appeared during amateur night on Showtime at the Apollo and on the MTV's The Cut (hosted by Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes of TLC). The group disbanded in 2000, and Smith continued to write songs for other artists before starting his solo career. The stage name "Ne-Yo" was coined by Big D Evans, a producer with whom Ne-Yo once worked, because Evans claimed that Ne-Yo sees music as Neo sees the matrix...
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