Singer Ne-Yo Becomes Motown Records Exec

Singer/songwriter Shaffer “Ne-Yo” Smith is having quite a year so far. “Red Tails,” a film in which he co-stars, debuted at number two at the box office last weekend and now it’s been announced that he is leaving Def Jam records to put out music on Motown where he will also be the Senior Vice President of A&R (both labels are under the Universal Music Group umbrella). As the SVP of A&R he’ll be responsible for finding and cultivating new talent for the label.

Ne-Yo’s move to the historic label founded by Berry Gordy and responsible for the likes Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross and Smokey Robinson was announced in a statement to the press on Wednesday. In the statement Ne-Yo notes that his dual role as exec and artist will mirror the career path of one of his Motown idols, Smokey Robinson:  “I’m honored that I’ve 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.”

“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 the same 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.”