Posted Feb. 27, 2007 -- What do we really know about Ne-Yo? Here are the facts: Ne-Yo's debut album, “In My Own Words,” sold over 300,000 copies in the first week; Ne-Yo is as famous for his songwriting as his singing, writing such songs as Beyoncé’s “Irreplaceable,” and Mario’s “Let Me Love You”; and he received a nomination for the 49th Annual Grammy Awards for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance.
Is it fair to say that Ne-Yo is one of the most talented young, R&B artist out today? I think so. And as for his personal life, here’s what I found out.
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Do you consider yourself sexy or handsome?
Real talk, I don’t consider myself sexy. I’m just me. Certain cats, I can understand why ladies like them. Like, Brian McKnight. He’s a debonair type of dude, so I can see why people would like him. Or Chris Brown: He’s that tall, light-skinned type of dude that most girls like. I’ve never been that type of dude. I’m not a dog with it, but I’m no Billie Dee Williams either.
Girls don’t try to holla?
Yeah they do, but in a room of 10 girls, six just might wanna holla at me, and that’s because of the Ne-Yo factor, and most likely only four without the Ne-Yo factor. A lot of women are attracted to power, and I have a bit of that now. I do recall before all this Ne-Yo stuff went down, I wasn’t in Playboy. (Laughs)
Does the Ne-Yo factor bother you?
No, I just realize what it is. It’s all good. I can usually tell if they’re hollering because I’m Ne-Yo and not because I’m Shaffer. You might get what you want if you say what you want. Just keep it real with me. “Neyo, I’m your No. 1 fan and I love your music. What are you doing after the show?” And sometimes that’s what you’re looking for, and that’s what I want. But if that’s not what you want, cool. Thank you for coming out and buying the record. I’m a realist.
So, you can tell a groupie from a chick who really wants to get to know you on another level?
I think I’m very good at reading people’s vibes. It’s something I had to develop. You can’t read a person by their body language or by what they say. You can’t even read a person by their eyes anymore. I know women who will look you dead in the eye and tell you a bold-face lie. I read people by the natural energy their body gives off. Some call it your “aura” or “vibe.” I haven’t mastered it, but most groupie chicks give off the same aura all the time. They’re very overbearing and do too much. The woman who walks up to me and asks what my real name is is probably on another level.
PAGE 2 >>> Get Ne-Yo's status and find out how intimate he is with his baby mama.
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What are you looking for in a woman?
I want someone with depth, and who is not talking about just my album. But right now I’m not looking. When you’re looking, you never find it. The woman that shouts, “I need a man! I need a man!” is by herself. If she’s focusing on herself, her family and her career, a dude will fall in her lap. And that’s the same with guys. So, I’m going to focus on myself and my son and bettering myself. When the right one comes, I hope I won’t be too busy to see who she really is.
What’s your son’s name?
What does it mean?
I don’t know. It’s my middle name. My mom gave me that name from a bottle of French perfume.
How do you deal with new women in your life meeting your son?
There are not a lot of women close to me who don’t meet my son. If you’re someone I’m kicking it with for the moment, you’re not going to meet my son. I don’t want to confuse him.
Do you enjoy being a daddy?
Man, the times that I do get with my son, I absolutely love. I really thank God that his mother and I have a real good relationship.
Are you guys still intimate?
No, we’re not romantically involved, but she can call on me for anything. I will always be there for her and at the same time, I know I can turn to her for a real ear. She’s a good mother and a good friend.
Ne-Yo has announced that his sophomore album, “Know Me,” will be released April 24, 2007.