Young R&B star Ne-Yo has been named senior vp of A&R at Motown Records, and will shift his own work from Def Jam Recordings to the venerable Universal Music Group imprint.
The singer’s New York-based imprint Compound Entertainment will also move to Motown.
Appointment was jointly announced by Barry Weiss, chairman-CEO of Universal Republic and Island Def Jam Motown, and Ethiopia Habtemariam, Motown Records senior vp.
Ne-Yo’s jump to the executive suite follows Habtemariam’s promotion last year, when was she was jointly named to the label role and upped to executive vp/head of urban music at Universal Music Publishing Group (Daily Variety, Aug. 11).
Weiss said in a statement, “Ne-Yo is an enormously talented artist, songwriter, and producer — in fact, he’s one of the greatest songwriters of our times. His track record of success at Def Jam will always be a benchmark. 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.”
Born Shaffer Chimere Smith, Jr., three-time Grammy winner Ne-Yo has logged two No. 1 pop albums, “In My Own Words” (2006) and “Because of You” (2007). He is currently working on the follow-up to his No. 9 release of 2010 “Libra Scale.”
Also a thesp, he is currently featured in “Red Tails,” George Lucas’ production of World War II’s Tuskegee Airmen. He will appear on the small screen in the forthcoming season of NBC’s “The Voice” as a mentor on Cee-Lo Green’s team.