When [artist id="2002414"]Ne-Yo[/artist] found out about the allegations of [article id="1604553"]violence between Chris Brown and Rihanna[/article], he knew he couldn't get the story from a third party. Concerned for both his friends, the singer wanted to speak to them personally.
On Monday afternoon (February 23), a still-stunned Ne-Yo offered his thoughts.
"I wanted to talk to them before I made a comment," he said about the much-publicized incident that occurred several hours before the Grammy Awards on February 8. [article id="1604569"]Brown turned himself in to police[/article] during the awards show and was [article id="1604577"]booked on suspicion of making criminal threats[/article] and released. "I spoke to [artist id="1940303"]Rihanna[/artist]. She says she's fine. She didn't go into detail about what happened. I understand it's a painful situation; I didn't push."
Like so many of Rihanna's fans, friends and family members, Ne-Yo said he was grief-stricken after viewing the [article id="1605450"]recently leaked photo[/article] of a bruised and apparently battered Rihanna shortly after her altercation with Brown.
"I saw the picture," he said solemnly. "That just really — that hurt me to my heart, man. Again, I still don't know what happened, 'cause I haven't had the opportunity to talk to Chris yet. But to take it to that level really hurt my heart. All I can say is, I'm praying for both of them. They're both in my prayers. I haven't had a chance to talk to Chris yet. I just wanna sit down and talk to that dude and just explain if he doesn't understand: 'That's not something that's excusable, bruh. You have to get a little smarter about whatever it is going on in your relationship. You have to get a little smarter about how you handle certain situations.' "
Still, Ne-Yo refused to be Brown's judge and jury. "I'm not going to crucify him," Ne-Yo said. "I'm not going to do that. That's still my homeboy at the end of the day. For it to go to that level was wrong. I won't say who was responsible. I won't pick no sides. I'm just saying it was wrong [that] it had to happen like that, and I'm praying for the both of them."
Ne-Yo has had very close ties to Brown and Rihanna. In 2006, Brown and Ne-Yo co-headlined a tour that featured [artist id="510062"]Lil Wayne[/artist] and [artist id="1237281"]Juelz Santana[/artist]. In 2005, Ne-Yo and Rihanna became two of the main pieces of the Def Jam puzzle when then-president [artist id="1269"]Jay-Z[/artist] had a hand in signing both acts. Ne-Yo penned his duet with Rihanna "I Hate That I Love You."