R&B singer Ne-Yo joins Motown Records as its new Senior Vice President of A&R
By Amaris Castillo
Ne-Yo seems to be working his way up to becoming a jack-of-all-trades.
Not only is he starring in George Lucas’ new Red Tails film (out now), but the R&B crooner has also made a big move to Motown Records. And by big, we mean the 32-year-old is now the label’s new Senior Vice President of A&R.
Barry Weiss, the Chairman and CEO of Universal Republic and Island Def Jam Motown, announced the news in a statement this week. In addition to working on his fifth album, Ne-Yo will perform double-duty as both a producer and mentor to the label’s artists. The singer will also seek out new talent to sign to Motown –- a heavy responsibility for anyone. He already has, apparently. According to Centric TV, Ne-Yo attended an event last week during which he introduced some of his new artists, which include Adrienne Bailon, a member of the now-defunct group 3LW.
In his official statement, Weiss described Ne-Yo as an “enormously talented” artist, songwriter, and producer and added that the singer’s track record of success at Def Jam will remain a benchmark.
Before he was signed to Def Jam (and even before he was given his nickname), Ne-Yo penned the hit song “Let Me Love You” for singer Mario. The song’s wild success eventually brought him to a recording contract with Def Jam and since then, Ne-Yo has had numerous hit songs, including Grammy-winning “Miss Independent” and the monstrous hit that was “Give Me Everything,” which he was a feature guest on. That song, which is by Miami rapper Pitbull and also features newcomer Nayer, peaked at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 last summer.
As for Ne-Yo’s transition to Motown, Weiss said it would bring the singer new and inspiring challenges “as both an artist and a key member of the new senior management team that is taking form at the label in 2012.”
We want to hear from Ne-Yo, though. The singer said he was a “combination of excited, honored, and terrified all at once!”
“Excited about a new beginning here at Motown, honored that I've been given such a prestigious title and trusted with such responsibility," Ne-Yo said, "TERRIFIED because I know that playing this role, in the fashion of one of my idols and career role models Mr. Smokey Robinson, these are big shoes to fill ... but trust, I can handle it."