Shaffer Chimere Smith, better known by his stage name Ne-Yo, is an American singer-songwriter, record producer, actor, dancer and television judge. He gained fame for his songwriting abilities when he penned his 2004 hit "Let Me Love You" for singer Mario. 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's debut solo single, "Stay", was released in 2005 to moderate success. His debut studio album, In My Own Words, was critically and commercially successful, reaching number one on the Billboard 200 chart in the United States. It is certified platinum in the United States, United Kingdom, Japan and Australia and saw the success of the single "So Sick", which topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the United States.
Because of You, Ne-Yo's second studio album, was the second number one platinum-selling album debuted on the Billboard 200 and Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums charts, and received the Grammy Award for Best Contemporary R&B Album at the 50th Grammy Awards.