Shaffer Chimere Smith
Camden, Arkansas, United States
Ne-Yo went to the Rancho High School in Las Vegas.
He also attended the Las Vegas Academy of the Arts, which is a magnet high school in downtown Las Vegas.
Singer, songwriter, record producer, dancer, actor
- Father – Wiley L. Smith (Musician)
- Mother – Loraine Smith (Musician)
- Siblings – Nicole Smith (Sister)
- Others – Rosie M (Maternal Grandmother)
Ne-Yo is represented by New York City based Compound Entertainment.
Compound, Motown Records, Def Jam Recordings
5 ft 8 in or 173 cm
74 kg or 163 lbs
Girlfriend / Spouse
Ne-Yo has dated –
- In his February 2013 interview, Ne-Yo revealed that he got secretly married at the age of 19 to a woman, whose identity hasn’t been revealed. Their marriage lasted a mere couple of years before they got it annulled as she asked him to choose between her and his music career.
- Simply Jess – He is reported to have had a passing affair with club and events promoter Simply Jess in the past.
- Jessica White – Ne-Yo has dated photographer and fashion designer Jessica White, who also goes by the name of Phoenix. After their relationship, she gave birth to a child in 2005 and named Ne-Yo as the father of the child in the birth certificate. He eventually found out that he wasn’t the father of the child. In his 2012 appearance on VH1’s Behind the Music show, he slammed her for tricking to believe him the child was his and using it to milk money from him. In March 2013, she filed a lawsuit against him for publicly defaming her and claiming that it went against the settlement they had reached in 2009. As part of the settlement, he had agreed to pay her $575,000 and she in return would publicly verify that he wasn’t the father of the child. They had also agreed on confidentiality clause barring either of them to go public about it. And, he evidently went against it while blasting her on the TV show.
- Karrine Steffans – The rumors of Ne-Yo dating the former stripper and hooker Karrine Steffans first started appearing in media in May 2007 as it was claimed that they were going out. In July 2007, she told King Magazine about one night, he had given her foot rubs and had told her that he wasn’t bothered by her former flames, which according to her memoirs included almost every popular rapper. However, he shot down these rumors and asserted there was no truth in her claims.
- Casha Darjean – The Las Vegas native is rumored to have dated R&B singer Casha Darjean in the past. Some tabloids claim that they started going out in 2006 and broke up in 2007, whereas, there are other sources that suggest they went out for a couple of months in 2010.
- Vivica A. Fox (2007-2008) – Ne-Yo started going out with actress Vivica A. Fox in the fall of 2007. They dated for under a year and broke up in 2008.
- Tennille Jimenez (2009-2010) – He made his relationship public with Tennille Jimenez public at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival. By then, they had been in a relationship for quite some time. She had stayed with him in Prague for months while he was shooting for Red Tails. In November 2010, they had reportedly broken up. It was speculated for a couple of months as Tennille wasn’t spotted with him at various red carpet events. It was later confirmed that they had separated back in August.
- Jessica White (2010) – Ne-Yo was reported to be going out with model Jessica White in 2010. These relationship rumors were sparked by the man himself as he took Jessica as his date for that year’s Grammy Awards. They seemed to have separated short while after. In September 2012, White had to cope a lot of hate from his fans after Ne-Yo spoke out about his gold-digging ex also named Jessica White. She had to take to her Twitter to clarify that she wasn’t his baby mamma.
- Monyetta Shaw (2009-2013) – Ne-Yo first met model Monyetta Shaw in 2009 at the Jamie Foxx concert in Louisiana. He had to repeatedly ask her out before she consented to go out on a date. In November 2010, she gave birth to a daughter, Madilyn Grace Smith in Atlanta. They welcomed a baby boy, Mason Evan Smith into their family in October 2011. Monyetta was so sure that their relationship would last long that she got her fallopian tubes tied up just after the birth of their son. She later revealed that Ne-Yo had agreed to get a vasectomy done as well but he didn’t remain true to his words, which she found out after he had a child with Crystal Renay. They had set August 2013 as their wedding date. However, just two months before the set date, he decided to call off their wedding. He told her that he didn’t want to remain monogamous anymore.
- Crystal Renay (2014-Present) – He started going out with video vixen Crystal Renay in 2014. They had grown close after he had cast her in his music video, Money Can’t Buy. In September, he revealed that they had got engaged and were expecting a child as well. In February 2016, they got married in a lavish ceremony. In March 2016, Renay gave birth to son Shaffer Chimere Smith, Jr. They also have a son named Roman Alexander-Raj Smith (b. June 14, 2018). In February 2020, it was announced that they were ending their marriage. However, they reconciled during the coronavirus pandemic in 2020 and announced in February 2021 that they were expecting their 3rd child together.
Race / Ethnicity
On his father’s side, he has Chinese and African American ancestry, whereas, on his mother’s side, he is of purely African American descent.
- Loves wearing a short brimmed fedora
- Short and stocky body
Ne-Yo has done endorsement work for the Malibu Red by appearing in a series of commercials for the rum brand.
In 2009, he was featured in the print adverts for Alfani Red men’s suits and accessories.
Ne-Yo has also advertised for –
- Alexander McQueen
- Android Homme
- Anthony Franco
He has been cast in the TV commercial for UNICEF’s Believe in Zero ad campaign. The other social cause endorsement work he did was for Cartoon Network’s Stop Bullying campaign, and Boys & Girls Clubs of America (alongside Denzel Washington).
He is a devout Christian.
Best Known For
- The commercial success and popularity of his studio albums such as Because of You and Year of the Gentleman, both were certified Platinum in several countries.
- Having collaborated with leading artists such as Kanye West, Rihanna, and Pitbull for chart topping singles
In 2006, he released his debut studio album, In My Own Words. This album reached the top of the music charts and was certified as platinum in United States, Japan, Australia and the United Kingdom.
In 2007, he made his first film appearance in an important role in the drama romance movie, Stomp the Yard.
First TV Show
In February 2006, Ne-Yo made his TV show debut on the talk show The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson
Ne-Yo had six pack abs for almost his entire life until he hit the age of 25-26 as his busy work schedule made him bit careless. His abs disappeared almost suddenly and he was left with the slight fat look, which prompted him to hire Ron “Boss” Everline to get him back in shape. Ne-Yo made it clear at the very start that he has no intention of getting bigger and wanted a leaner look.
For his workouts, Everline decided to go for dynamic warmup routine comprising of walking lunges, walking knee hugs and arm rotations while walking among other moves. The core of the workout routine comprised of high-intensity body weight exercises, core work and lower body exercises with dumbbells. You can find his complete workout routine here.
While he was traveling, Everline made his workout less dependent on gym equipment. He was asked to perform 400 sit-ups four days a week and 300 push-ups three days a week. The other components of his fitness regime while on road were boxing sessions, hiking, cardio work, CrossFit, strength intervals and rope jumps.
Regarding diet, he focusses on eating in moderation. He doesn’t believe in depriving himself of his indulgences but makes sure that he is eating small portions of pleasure foods and alternating it with some healthy dishes.
Ne-Yo Favorite Things
- New York City Restaurant – Café Metro
- Typical Bar Order – Vodka Red Bull or vodka tonic with a splash of cranberry
- TV Guilty Pleasures – Family Guy, American Dad and everything on Cartoon Network
- TV Shows – Empire, Scandal, and Game of Thrones
- Comedy Movie – The 40-Year-Old Virgin (2005), Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004)
- Food – Italian Food
- Emoji – Little Smirk and full teeth smile with eyes closed
- Style Icons – The Rat Pack, James Brown, Prince, Michael Jackson, Kanye West, Jay-Z, and CeeLo Green
- Video Games – Tekken God and Street Fighter
- Color – Red
- Musical Influences – Luther Vandross, Usher, Michael Jackson, Babyface, R. Kelly, and Blackstreet
- Ne-Yo was raised primarily by his mom.
- He is a big supporter of the local Las Vegas Boys & Girls Club. In December 2014, he delivered presents to the children at the John C. Kish Boys & Girls Club located in his old neighborhood of Henderson.
- His first job was at McDonald’s joint. He bought his first music CD, Bizarre Ride II by The Pharcyde from his first paycheck.
- His stage name ‘Ne-Yo’ was coined by music producer Big D Evans, with whom he had worked in the past. Evans took inspiration from Neo, the main protagonist of Matrix. He believed that Ne-Yo can read music like Neo could read Matrix.
- In February 2008, he was arrested for driving without a license and was also charged with reckless driving as he was reported to be driving at 150 mph, almost 100 mph above the permitted limit.
- In June 2008, he decided not to contest the reckless driving charge and pleaded guilty to reckless driving as well. He was eventually asked to do 24 hours of community service.
- In August 2011, Lindsay Lohan filed a lawsuit against Ne-Yo, Pitbull, and Afrojack alleging that her name was referenced in their single, Give Me Everything. The judge ruled that her name was barely mentioned and partial usage of her name was protected by the first amendment.
- He has assisted in the development of The Compound Foundation, which is a not for profit organization that works to improve the well-being of children raised in group homes and foster care.
- Ne-Yo is a huge supporter of children and arts causes, which has seen him do activism work for Little Kids Rock Foundation. The foundation provides free music education and instruments to public school districts.
- While studying in arts high school, he joined R&B group by the name of Envy and adopted GoGo moniker. The group was eventually disbanded in 2000.
- Many won’t be aware that Ne-Yo is a very successful songwriter and penned popular hits for music icons such as Rihanna (Unfaithful), Beyoncé (Irreplaceable), and Jennifer Hudson (Spotlight).
- He has established his own recording studio named Carrington House in Atlanta, Georgia.
- He has started his production company called Compound Entertainment. In 2007, he started the process of converting it into a successful record label.
- He has signed up artists such as Paula Campbell, RaVaughn, Sixx John, and Adrienne Bailon with his label.
- In 2007, he revealed that he was commissioned by will.i.am to start the work on Michael Jackson’s new album. After pop legend’s death, he was left confused about what to do with the songs as he felt recording those or selling to another artist would be disrespectful.
- Visit his official website @ neyothegentleman.com.
- Follow him on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and YouTube VEVO.
Featured Image via Saquan Stimpson / Flickr / CC BY 2.0