Former Def Jam singer/songwriter Ne-Yo recently switched labels and moved from Def Jam to Motown Records, according to Billboard.biz. Ne-Yo, who is also a Grammy Award-winning artist will bring his Compound Entertainment imprint to Motown Records and take on a creative role at Motown as senior VP of A&R. He will serve as a producer and mentor to the label’s artists and also discover and sign new talent, as well as mark his debut as a Motown artist with his fifth studio album, slated for this summer.
“His track record of success at Def Jam will always be a benchmark,” says Universal Republic and Island Def Jam Motown chairman/CEO Barry Weiss in a statement announcing the news. “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.”
Last summer, I report that Ethiopia Habtemariam was appointed senior VP of Motown, formerly headed by president Sylvia Rhone. She concurrently serves as executive VP/head of urban music for Universal Music Publishing Group.
“We are committed to discovering, developing and nurturing R&B/soul superstars here at Motown,” says Habetemariam in the co-announcement with Weiss. “In Ne-Yo we have both a global superstar and arguably one of the best songwriters in music. His presence on the executive team only strengthens our commitment to be the very best in R&B.”
Ne-Yo added, “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.”
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