Shaffer Chimere Smith (born October 18, 1982), better known by his stage name Ne-Yo, is an American R&B singer-songwriter, record producer, dancer, and actor. Beginning his career as a songwriter, Ne-Yo penned the 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.
In 2006, he released his debut album, In My Own Words, which contained the US number one hit "So Sick", as well as the top 10 hit "Sexy Love". In 2007, he released his second album, Because of You, which contained the US top 3 hit of the same name. In 2008, he released his third album, Year of the Gentleman, which contained the top 10 hits "Closer", "Mad" and "Miss Independent". His fourth studio album, Libra Scale, was released on November 22, 2010. It received critical acclaim from music critics, but was a commercial disappointment, debuting at number nine on the US Billboard 200 chart, selling less than all of his previous three studio albums. In November 2012, Ne-Yo released his fifth studio album R.E.D. to favorable reviews and mild chart success. The album's debut single "Let Me Love You (Until You Learn to Love Yourself)", became his first solo song to reach the top 10. In 2009, Billboard ranked him as the 57th Artist of the 2000s decade. In 2012, Ne-Yo was awarded the Hal David Starlight Award of the Songwriter's Hall of Fame which honors gifted songwriters who are at an apex in their careers and are making a significant impact in the music industry via their original songs.