Shaffer Chimere Smith (born October 18, 1982), known by his stage nameNe-Yo, is an American R&B singer, songwriter, record producer, dancer, and actor. Ne-Yo began his career as a songwriter in 2004, when he penned the hit "Let Me Love You" for singerMario. The single's successful release in the United States prompted an informal meeting between Ne-Yo and Def Jam's label head, and the signing of a recording contract.Ne-Yo was born in Camden, Arkansas. His mother is of African American and Chinese descent, and his father is African-American. Both his parents were musicians. As a young child, he was raised by his mother after she separated from his father. In hopes of better opportunity, his mother relocated the family to Las Vegas, Nevada. While in the Las Vegas Academy, Smith adopted the stage name "GoGo" and joined an R&B group called Envy, who appeared during amateur night on Showtime at the Apollo and on theMTV's The Cut (hosted by Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes of TLC). The group disbanded in 2000, and Smith continued to write songs for other artists before starting his solo career.
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