In the latest step to strengthen the new Motown Records, a division of Universal Music Group (UMG), acclaimed artist Ne-Yo will move from Def Jam Recordings to Motown along with his label imprint Compound Entertainment, and will also take on a creative role at Motown as the new Senior Vice President of A&R, it was announced today by Barry Weiss, Chairman & CEO of Universal Republic and Island Def Jam Motown, and Ethiopia Habtemariam, Senior Vice President, Motown Records.
Based in New York, the multi-platinum, three-time Grammy Award-winning recording artist Ne-Yo will continue to work on his eagerly awaited fifth studio album, expected for summer release as his Motown debut. At the same time, Ne-Yo will take on A&R duties at Motown, serving as a producer and mentor to the label’s artists, as well as seeking out and signing new talent to the label. Ne-Yo, who has a co-starring role in Red Tails, the new George Lucas WWII movie about the U.S. Army Air Corps’ Tuskegee Airmen fighter pilots, will also be seen on NBC television’s upcoming season of The Voice, as a mentor for Cee-Lo Green’s team.
“Ne-Yo is an enormously talented artist, songwriter, and producer,” said Mr. Weiss, “in fact, he’s one of the greatest songwriters of our times. His track record of success at Def Jam will always be a benchmark. But this move to Motown will provide new and inspiring challenges for Ne-Yo, as both an artist and a key member of the new senior management team that is taking form at the label in 2012.”
“We are honored and humbled to have Ne-Yo as a part of the Motown family, as both a recording artist and in an A&R role,” said Ms. Habtemariam, who has recently taken the reins at the historic label. “We are committed to discovering, developing and nurturing R&B/Soul superstars here at Motown and in Ne-Yo we have both a global superstar and arguably one of the best songwriters in music. His presence on the executive team only strengthens our commitment to the very best in R&B.”
“I’m a combination of excited, honored and terrified all at once!” said Ne-Yo. “Excited about a new beginning here at Motown, honored that I’ve been given such a prestigious title and trusted with such responsibility, 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.”
Ne-Yo’s most recent album, 2010’s Libra Scale (his final album for Def Jam) was the follow-up to the RIAA platinum Year Of The Gentleman (2008), his third consecutive album to enter the Soundscan chart at #1. In addition to containing a 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 (songwriters award) and Best Male R&B Vocal Performance. Previously, Ne-Yo established himself as a core member of the Def Jam family with Because Of You (2007), which won the Grammy Award for Best Contemporary R&B Album, and In My Own Words (2006) – both #1 debuts on the Billboard 200 and R&B Albums charts.