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NE-YO: A Batangueño’s Favorite (New Taste of Music, a Review)

Music is really a part of each and everyone of us’ daily lives. A day without hearing our favorite song makes our day incomplete. And since we, Batangueños now have a variety of music to choose from, we can then express ourselves more freely and listen to the type of genre we prefered to listen to without having a second thought that we might not be ‘IN’. We are now introduced more on RnB, alternative, PUNK Rock and Country songs, aside from the usual OPM and love songs. And from there, the way we see music evolved and had our NEW TASTE for our ears. So here’s one of the new Batangueños’ favorite artist that influenced not only us, but as well as all the people around the globe, we are now to dig more about NE – YO.

Birth name: Shaffer Chimere Smith (Afro- Asian)
Born: October 18, 1979 (1979-10-18) (age 29)
Camden, Arkansas, United States
Origin: Los Angeles, California, United States
Occupation(s) Singer-songwriter, record producer, rapper, dancer, actor
Years active 1999–present


Given the name of “Ne-Yo” from a producer he once worked with, Big D Evans, because Big D Evans claims that Ne-Yo sees music as Neo sees the matrix, Ne-Yo’s debut album, In My Own Words, was released in early 2006 through Def Jam Recordings, and debuted at number one on Billboard 200, selling over 301,000 copies in the first week and certified platinum, selling nearly 2 million copies in the US and 4 million worldwide. During the same week, Ne-Yo’s Stargate-produced second single “So Sick” reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The second single released was “When You’re Mad,” which peaked at #15, and later “Sexy Love” at #7.

The follow-up album Because of You was released on May 1, 2007 and reached the number-one spot on the chart, bringing his number-one albums count to two. The first single from the platinum-selling album was the “titled song,” which peaked at the number-two spot for the artist. Despite the success of “Because of You,” the later singles released charted less successful and was unable to reach the Top 20.

In December 2007, Ne-Yo and the Goo Goo Dolls performed at a fund raising concert for the then presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama. He also collaborated with Lindsay Lohan on her new material, having already finished “Bossy”, a pre-single for her new album Spirit in the Dark. Ne-Yo also ventured out to open his own recording studio called Carrington House and started his own label, Compound Entertainment, in 2007; artists such as Paula Campbell, Sixx John, and Shanell are now associated with Compound.

Ne-Yo’s Grammy-nominated third album Year of the Gentleman was released on September 6, 2008 and reached the number-two position. Reviews for the album was positive, with Rolling Stone magazine saying that “it’s actually a superb concept album about what a great boyfriend he [Ne-Yo] can be.” The first single “Closer” became a Top Ten hit, reaching #7 and would eventually be nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance. The second single “Miss Independent,” which featured Trey Songz, Gabrielle Union, Lauren London, Keri Hilson, and America’s Next Top Model’s Monique in the music video, also peaked at #7 and was also nominated for two Grammy Awards, for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance and for Best R&B Song. The album itself was nominated for two Grammys, for Best Contemporary R&B Album and Album of the Year. Year of the Gentleman has been certified Gold by the RIAA for a shipment of more than 500,000 copies.

Later in the year, Ne-Yo was invited to sing the United States national anthem The Star-Spangled Banner at the Special NFL game, San Diego Chargers against the New Orleans Saints held at Wembley Stadium in London, England, UK. He was later invited again to sing the anthem at the Ford 400 NASCAR race in Homestead, Florida as well.

Ne-Yo is set to star in, executive produce and write the soundtrack for the film Venice Beach.

Main article: Ne-Yo discography
2006: In My Own Words
2007: Because of You
2008: Year of the Gentleman

ALBUM: YEAR OF THE GENTLEMAN Release Date: Sept. 16, 2008

1 Closer
2 Nobody
3 Single
4 Mad
5 Miss Independent
6 Why Does She Stay
7 Fade Into The Background
8 So You Can Cry
9 Part Of The List
10 Back To What You Know
11 Lie To Me
12 Stop This World

ALBUM: BECAUSE OF YOU Release Date: May 1, 2007
1 Because Of You
2 Crazy (feat. JAY-Z)
3 Can We Chill
4 Do You
5 Addicted
6 Leaving Tonight (feat. Jennifer Hudson)
7 Ain’t Thinking About You
8 Sex With My Ex
9 Angel
10 Make It Work
11 Say It
12 Go On Girl

ALBUM: In My Own Words Release Date: Feb 28, 2006
1 Stay
2 Let Me Get This Right
3 So Sick
4 When You’re Mad
5 It Just Ain’t Right
6 Mirror
7 Sign Me Up
8 I Ain’t Gotta Tell You
9 Get Down Like That
10 Sexy Love
11 Let Go
12 Time
13 Bonus Track 1

Songwriting and Producing

Aside from working on his own album, Ne-Yo also collaborated with several other artisrt and has been known to produce hits, such as singer Rihanna’s top ten hit “Unfaithful” and later her number-one hit “Take a Bow” in 2008 (for which Ne-Yo also did a recorded his own version of the song with different lyrics in response to Rihanna’s lyrics), Mario’s “Let Me Love You”, Mario Vazquez’s “Gallery”, Paula DeAnda’s “Walk Away (Remember Me)”, and Beyoncé’s Billboard Hot 100 ten-week number-one hit “Irreplaceable”.

He has also written songs for Whitney Houston, Celine Dion, Britney Spears, Corbin Bleu, and Enrique Iglesias for their upcoming albums.[13] Smith also has stated that he will write songs for Craig David, Usher, Chris Brown, Jennifer Hudson, Leona Lewis, Ciara on new material for her new album Fantasy Ride. The single “Supernatural” was recently produced, and he worked on additional singles as well. and he recently confirmed that he has been contacted by producer to work on Michael Jackson’s upcoming album.[14]

More recently Ne-Yo is known to have collaborated with American singer Anastacia and co-written and produced the single “I Can Feel You” from her upcoming album Heavy Rotation. His latest reported venture is with controversial and media loving industrial-metal star Marilyn Manson, after professing in an interview a desire to work with him.[15]

Career Review:

Grammy-winning Shaffer Smith, better known as Ne-Yo, presents the very picture of Rat Pack-slick (think: well-pressed suits and ties), in his third studio album, Year of the Gentleman. And this couldn’t have been a better title. Having previously penned songs for Rihanna, Beyonce and Mary J Blige, it is of no surprise to find the album packed with 12 luscious songs spilling over with love, sadness, warmth, and then some.

With an immediately addictive bassline, “Closer” is a smooth and danceable genre-bending opening tracker, that is already a hit single making the rounds on the charts and club circuits. The hits just keep on flowing as “Nobody” heats up the dance floor – a pumping soul track, not unlike pre-controversy Jackson disco era, complete with falsetto in tact.

If you happen to be a “Single” lady at a club, why, Ne-yo proposes in a cheeky but suave manner, to be your boyfriend for the night, or rather, just till the end of the song. Let the graceful, affectionate “Mad” show off Ne-yo’s silky vocals, as well as his genius for contriving genuine, heartfelt lyrics.

Kicking into snyth-R&B mode, “Miss Independent” is a song about independent women, of course. This paean to women who can hold their own, is a bouncy and instant classic that will leave you head-over-heels. “Why Does She Stay” is a slow, smoldering track, with a tint of piano and electronic fizzes. An old-time groove takes you through “Fade Into The Background,” an emotional number slightly laced with the bitterness of breakup.

Ne-Yo channels his inner Stevie Wonder with “So You Can Cry,” a snappy, finger-clicking, harpsichord number with layered harmonies. “Part Of The List” is a mellow and beautifully wrenching number, reminiscent of a lover long gone. Guitar riffs and little twitches of synth, pepper “Back To What You Know.” Who knew the synth swatches, strings, and moody bass and piano of “Lie To Me” would make such a compelling rhythm? The album closes with a big elegant bang, as the elaborate arrangement of cello, violins and viola pulls “Stop This World” to its lush conclusion.

Year of the Gentleman is undoubtedly a sensitive, stylish and sophisticated record. Who else is able to successfully affirm the allure, strength and power of the fairer sex, to deliver a well-orchestrated balance of club hits, wistful R&B ballads and funk-soul pop? With his undisputed songwriting genius, Ne-Yo is able to create exceptional situational lyrics that set the scene, tone and mood of his music perfectly. And in doing so, he has since proved that this is, indeed, his Year.

For 2008: SINGLES

The first single, “Closer”, was released on April 15. The song debuted at number twenty-two on the UK Singles Chart, and later reached number one. On Billboard’s Hot 100, the song peaked at number seven, while it has reached number one on the Hot 100 Airplay chart.

The second single, “Miss Independent”, was released on August 11. The physical release will be accompanied by a video which premiered on August 21 on Access Granted.Both these songs are produced and co-written by Stargate.

The third single is confirmed to be “Mad” and goes for adds on Urban/Rhythmic on October 14, 2008.

A video has been made for song “She Got Her Own” and is the official international single.

[tag]NE-YO, Batangueños, Favorite, RnB, Grammy, Awards, Music, 2008, alternative, Punk Rock, Country, Mad, Closer, Year of the Gentleman, Miss Independent, Because of you, Go on Girl, Music Review, Review, Career, Music Career[/tags]

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  1. Ciaras brand new song ride be so great! Im her #1 stan and everybody better be on the lookout cause Ci-ci be smashing these charts with Ride.

  2. Ciaras brand new song ride be so great! Im her #1 stan and everybody better be on the lookout cause Ci-ci be smashing these charts with Ride.

  3. I loved TMZs coverage of Lindsay Lohan in court yesterday. She was a blubbering idiot!

  4. I loved TMZs coverage of Lindsay Lohan in court yesterday. She was a blubbering idiot!

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