R&B singer/songwriter Ne-Yo, 32, has been appointed Vice President of A&R at Motown Records, according to published reports. Ne-Yo, born Shaffer Chimere Smith, Jr., left Def Jam Records after 6 years and 4 albums.
Ne-Yo will work closely with former LaFace Records intern Ethiopia Habtemariam, who was appointed senior VP of Motown last September. She also holds the title of executive VP/head of urban music for Universal Music Publishing Group.
Ne-Yo said: "I'm honored that I¹ve been given such a prestigious title and trusted with such responsibility; terrified because I know that playing this role in the fashion of one of my career role models, Mr. Smokey Robinson -- these are big shoes to fill. But trust, I can handle it."
Ne-Yo's album Year of the Gentleman and Young Jeezy's album, The Recession, were both cited by insiders as part of the reason for the fall out between then Def Jam label head LA Reid and his Executive VP Shakir Stewart.
Both albums, which were A&R'd by Stewart, dropped in September 2008 and failed to go gold by the time Stewart shot himself to death in the bathroom of his Marietta, Ga. home on Nov. 1, 2008.
Photo: Splash News Online