News: Ne-Yo Ditches Def Jam, Lands Senior Vice President Of A&R Job

Wednesday, Jan 25, 2012 8:55AM

Written by Cyrus Langhorne

R&B singer Ne-Yo has packed his bags and is taking a career leap by leaving Def Jam for a shot with Motown Records as an artist and business executive.

Details of this unexpected power move emerged online late Tuesday (January 24) night.

Singer/songwriter Ne-Yo is moving from Def Jam to Motown Records, the company told Billboard.biz exclusively today. In addition, the Grammy Award-winning artist will bring his Compound Entertainment imprint to the venerable label and take on a creative role at Motown as senior VP of A&R. Ne-Yo, who co-stars in the current George Lucas-produced film "Red Tails" about the Tuskegee Airmen fighter pilots, will appear on the upcoming season of NBC-TV's " The Voice" as a mentor for Cee Lo Green's team. Ne-Yo will mark his debut as a Motown artist with his fifth studio album, slated for this summer. (Billboard Biz)

Motown CEO Barry Weiss and Ne-Yo also confirmed the new partnership.

"His track record of success at Def Jam will always be a benchmark," says Universal Republic and Island Def Jam Motown chairman/CEO Barry Weiss in a statement announcing the news. "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." Ne-Yo added, "I'm honored that I¹ve 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 career role models, Mr. Smokey Robinson -- these are big shoes to fill. But trust, I can handle it." (Hollywood Reporter)

In his new situation, Ne-Yo will serve as a triple threat with multiple roles.

R&B singer-songwriter Ne-Yo has signed a deal to bring his Compound Entertainment imprint to Motown Records, where he will release music and serve as the company's Senior Vice President of A&R. Ne-Yo's new gig will have him working as a producer, songwriter and mentor for the label's artists and charge him with seeking out new talent. (Rolling Stone)

Since 2006, the singer has racked up multiple Grammy nominations and platinum-selling records.

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. (Market Watch)

Check out some recent Ne-Yo footage below:

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