Shaffer Chimere Smith Jr., p/k/a “Ne-Yo”

Hal David Starlight Award

Shaffer Chimere Smith Jr., p/k/a “Ne-Yo” is the multi-platinum, three-time Grammy® Award-winning recording artist acclaimed for his incredible songwriting talent, powerhouse performances and expertise as a producer. 

Ne-Yo, who began his career as a songwriter, was catapulted into the spotlight with his hit “Let Me Love You,” which he wrote for R&B singer Mario, landing him a record deal with Def Jam in 2004.  His debut album In My Own Words went RIAA platinum and featured US #1 hit “So Sick,” as well as the Top 10 hit “Sexy Love.”  His follow-up album Because of You, released in 2007, won Ne-Yo the Grammy® Award for Best Contemporary R&B Album.  The title track and first single off the platinum-selling album debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 chart.

His most recent album, Libra Scale in 2010, was the follow-up to the 2008 RIAA platinum Year Of The Gentleman, his third consecutive album to enter the Soundscan chart at #1.  In addition to the trio of RIAA platinum hit singles “Closer,” “Miss Independent,” and “Mad,” Year Of The Gentleman generated five Grammy® nominations in 2009 – with “Miss Independent” winning for Best R&B Song, which Ne-Yo penned, and Best Male R&B Vocal Performance. 

Now a prominent member of Motown Records, Ne-Yo has written chart-topping songs for a catalog of artists throughout his career including Usher, Rihanna, Beyonce, Mary J Blige, Jennifer Hudson, Tim McGraw and many others. In large part due to his award-winning songwriting abilities, Ne-Yo was recently named the senior vice president of A&R at Motown, where he serves as a producer and mentor to the label’s artists, as well as seeks out and signs new talent.  Ne-Yo will release his highly anticipated fifth studio album on Motown this fall.

“Ne-Yo’s beginnings as a young singer-songwriter and his subsequent rise as a chart-topping writer and producer make him the perfect choice for the prestigious Hal David Starlight Award,” commented SHOF Chairman and legendary songwriter Jimmy Webb. “We are looking forward to applauding his many accomplishments at our Annual Awards Gala.”