A gentleman's new year


POSTED: Friday, January 02, 2009

DEF JAM Ne-Yo performs Monday night at the Blaisdell Arena.


A gentleman's new year

Grammy Award-winning Ne-Yo kicks off 2009 in Honolulu

Star-Bulletin staff

  WITH three successful albums in three years, fans of R&B crooner Ne-Yo will have no shortage of hits to sing along with when the Grammy Award-winning singer-arranger-producer performs in Honolulu next week.





        On stage: 7:30 p.m. Monday

Place: Blaisdell Arena


Tickets: $35 to $55


Call: (877) 750-4400



Born in Arkansas and raised in Las Vegas, the artist born Shaffer Smith broke into the music industry as part of a short-lived pop quartet that broke up in 2000. When he tried to go the solo route, his record label bosses at the time didn't like what they heard and dropped him without releasing what would have been his debut album.

Refusing to give up on his dreams, Ne-Yo pressed forward as a songwriter, penning “;Let Me Love You”; for Mario in 2003 and using that track's success to establish working relationships with mainstream stars. Even after his first two albums—the platinum-selling “;In My Own Words”; and “;Because of You”;—were released in 2006 and 2007, he continued to write for other artists.

Beyonce's “;Irreplaceable,”; Rihanna's “;Unfaithful”; and “;Take a Bow,”; and Jennifer Hudson's “;Spotlight”; were all written by Ne-Yo. He's also worked with Mary J. Blige, Janet Jackson, Celine Dion, Leona Lewis and a number of other stars.

During an interview with MTV last year, Ne-Yo explained part of the secret to his success.

“;Anybody who has been following Ne-Yo from the start knows that I'm a huge, huge Michael Jackson fan,”; he said. “;And love is one of the few things on the face of this planet that will never go out of style.”;




Ne-Yo: Year of the Gentleman


Ne-Yo's latest album, “;Year of the Gentleman,”; was released in June and quickly produced pop hits: “;Closer”; and “;Miss Independent”; both appeared on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, peaking at No. 7 and No. 12, respectively. Last month, he learned he had earned nominations for six more Grammy Awards, and “;Closer”; had been awarded a platinum certification by the RIAA.

The new year won't be any less hectic, either. After starting 2009 in Hawaii, Ne-Yo will tour in Japan and the United Kingdom and continue to work with artists in his Georgia-based recording studio. He's also set to star in the upcoming film “;Venice Beach”; while also executive-producing the project and writing its soundtrack.