Shaffer Chimere Smith (born October 18, 1982) better known by his stage name Ne-Yo, is a Grammy Award winning American R&B recording artist, 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
Ne-Yo was born in Camden, Arkansas. His mother is of African American and Chinese descent, and his father is African American. Both of his parents were musicians. As a young child, he was raised by his mother after she separated from his father. In hopes of better opportunity, his mother relocated the family to Las Vegas, Nevada. While in the Las Vegas Academy, Smith adopted the stage name "GoGo" and joined an R&B group called Envy. The group disbanded in 2000, and Smith continued to write songs for other artists before starting his solo career.