After spending much of his career with Def Jam, Ne-Yo is packing up and heading over to Motown Records. The singer/songwriter announced Tuesday (Jan. 24) that he has not only signed with the record label as a solo artist but inked a deal to bring his Compound Entertainment imprint to Motown, and will also hold the title of Senior VP of A&R.
"His track record of success at Def Jam will always be a benchmark," said Universal Republic and Island Def Jam Motown chairman/CEO Barry Weiss in a statement. "But this move to Motown will provide new and inspiring challenges for Ne-Yo as both an artist and a key member of the new senior management team that is taking form at the label in 2012."
In an attempt to restructure the Universal Music Group brand, the label sees adding Ne-Yo to the team as a step in the right direction.
"We are committed to discovering, developing and nurturing R&B/soul superstars here at Motown," said newly appointed VP of Motown, Ethiopia Habtermariam. Last September, Habtemariam took over the position once held by Sylvia Rhone, and simultaneously heads the urban music department for Universal Music Publishing Group.
"In Ne-Yo we have both a global superstar and arguably one of the best songwriters in music,” said Habtemariam in a statement. “His presence on the executive team only strengthens our commitment to be the very best in R&B."
Ne-Yo's track record as an artist and songwriter, makes him a notable grab for the record label, and the 32-year-old seems up to the challenge of holding the coveted executive position. "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," said Ne-Yo.
The man behind hits for the likes of Rihanna, Beyoncé and Jennifer Hudson, has also sold 4.3 million records as a solo artist. Over the weekend, he proved that his star power transcends the music industry, by clocking a No. 2 debut of his new movie Red Tails, which was promoted by several private screenings, including one held by Snoop Dogg, in Hollywood last week.
While his previous album Libra Scale, failed to go the distance from a commercial standpoint, the project debuted in the top spot on the Billboard Hip-Hop/R&B charts in 2010. The father of two is currently prepping the release of his forthcoming fifth album, The Cracks in Mr. Perfect, due out sometime this year.