The wait is finally over – as Def Jam recording artist Ne-Yo takes the wraps off and announces that his hotly awaited second album, due May 1st, will be titled ‘Because of You’ – named after the album’s first single pick.
“It makes the most sense,” Ne-Yo says of his album title choice. “It’s because of the people that inspire me to make music. Because of the love of the music. Because of the fans. Because of you, that I do what I do.”
No. 1 most-added on the Rhythm format after its impact date last month, and the highest Rhythm chart debut of his career, “Because Of You” jumps to #23-bullet on this week’s Billboard Hot 100 Airplay chart, and makes bulleted moves up the R&R (Radio & Records) BDS Rhythmic, Urban, and Top 40 charts as well. The track is #9 on the AOL Top 40 Songs. Ne-Yo’s “AOL Sessions Live” performance launches April 24th, his YAHOO “Pepsi Smash” performance launches on Friday, March 23rd and Ne-Yo is scheduled to perform in Atlanta at The Tabernacle for the Cingular Sounds program.
The “Because Of You” video was added at MTV, where Ne-Yo hosted “TRL Live” on March 12-13th; and was also added at BET, where Ne-Yo appeared on “106 & Park” on March 15th, and will be performing and judging at BET’s “Spring Bling” on March 25th.
The multi-talented Grammy-nominated #1 RIAA platinum-selling artist Ne-Yo, named Male R&B/Hip-Hop Artist of the Year at the Billboard Music Awards, was one of the top success stories of 2006. His debut album In My Own Words, nominated for a Grammy as Best Contemporary R&B Album, hit #1 on the Billboard 200 and R&B/Hip-Hop Albums charts, and spun off three solid hits. It started late-2005 with Ne-Yo’s debut Def Jam single, “So Sick” (produced by Stargate). The track rose to #1 on the Hot 100, Pop 100, and Digital Songs charts, and #3 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs list, and was nominated for a Grammy as Best Male R&B Vocal Performance.
“So Sick,” like every track on ‘In My Own Words,’ was co-written by Ne-Yo. His songwriting chops came to Def Jam’s attention after he penned tunes for a string of multi-platinum artists including Mary J. Blige, B2K, Faith Evans, Musiq, and especially Mario – whose “Let Me Love You” (which Ne-Yo co-wrote with Scott Storch) was 2004’s #1 most-played song of the year at radio.
Most recently, Ne-Yo is credited as co-writer of Beyoncé’s current Grammy-contending single, “Irreplaceable.” As noted in the January 20th issue of Billboard, “Irreplaceable” had just made its best audience week, which was the #2 highest total audience impressions in Nielsen- BDS history (i.e. since 1992). The song with the #3 all-time highest audience total was also co-written by Ne-Yo – namely Mario’s “Let Me Love You.”
For Ne-Yo, 2006 wrapped up with the annual “Ruff & Ready, Yung & Sexy: Scream Tour 5.” The 8-city U.S. tour – presented by BET and starring Ne-Yo, Omarion, Yung Joc, Pretty Ricky, Mario, Jibbs, Sammie, and One Chance – opened December 21st at the Coliseum in Hampton, VA, and ended at Verizon Center in Washington, DC on New Year’s Eve Sunday. He recently was honored as “Best New Artist” at this year’s Soul Train Awards, scored 2 Grammy nominations and starred in the number 1 film, “Stomp the Yard.”
Ne-Yo recently founded The Compound Foundation which is committed to service at risk and disadvantaged youth. In addition to building two new group homes in the Atlanta area, The Compound Foundation will sponsor performances, motivational speakers and mentorship opportunities with leaders and business people within the community.