Houston, one of many musical ladies Ne-Yo admires, was among those featured on "VH1's 100 Greatest Women in Music," which he hosted last month. While Ne-Yo noted that some of his favorite artists, such as Ms. Knowles and Mary J. Blige made the list (#3 and #9, respectively), he would have included more soul singers such as Anita Baker and Shirley Murdock, strong female voices he listened to often growing up because they were favorites of his mother, Lorraine Smith.
Ne-Yo meets with the students who won Get Schooled's perfect attendance challenge. (Kariba Jack)
The musician, who recently flexed his acting skills in the George Lucas-produced movie "Red Tails," about the Tuskegee Airmen, had an opportunity to reminisce about his childhood last month. He surprised about 600 students at Aki Kurose Middle School Academy in Seattle for winning non-profit Get Schooled's nationwide attendance challenge by improving their attendance 3.7 percent in just seven weeks. "The one thing I can guarantee will happen if you don't show up is nothing," Ne-Yo explained. "It's cool that these kids understand that, and that the faculty of this school put that in these kids."
Ne-Yo performs one of his smooth songs. (Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Today, Ne-Yo is still a lot like that. It's just that his poems usually end up as lyrics for his songs. Fans can expect to hear a new collection of them on an as-yet-untitled album set to be released in June. "This is a very honest album for me. I'm telling a lot of truths that are either going to make people love me for my honesty or hate me for being me, you know?" Ne-Yo confessed. "[It's] 90 percent R&B with some dance stuff sprinkled in here and there. I know I have an audience for that, and I love my newfound fans in that realm, but at the end of the day I'm an R&B guy. So you can expect to hear some soulful joints on there mixed in with the fun dance stuff."
Sounds like a formula for another hit.
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