R&B singer [artist id="2002414"]Ne-Yo[/artist] is doing his part to help victims of the earthquake and tsunami that hit northern Japan on March 11. Despite other artists like Ke$ha postponing their dates in the country, the singer/songwriter — minus some backup dancers — decided to continue his performances and provided charitable aid in the process.
While appearing on MTV's "RapFix Live" via Skype, the Grammy Award-winning singer said that he didn't even consider canceling his tour dates in Japan. "After we heard about what went down, a lot of people was like, 'I know you're not going out there now with everything going on,' " Ne-Yo said. "But our response to that was, 'Of course we still going.' They need the show more than ever. So that's why we're here."
Ne-Yo said that he had not seen any of the devastation firsthand since the performances in Nagoya and Yokohama were not near the epicenter of the earthquake and coast. However, he has been inspired by how the people of Japan, and specifically those at the shows, have dealt with the tragedy.
"It wouldn't be possible to do a show from where everything really went down," he said. "The main thing that we been seeing out here is people coming together, people making donations, helping out their fellow man. As far as the crowds coming to the shows, it's unreal. If you didn't know that anything was wrong, you would never know that anything was wrong. It's just people coming to enjoy a concert, which to me kind of speaks to the spirit of the Japanese people. They're about keeping it going and keeping their spirits high and their morale high, and I dig that."
The "Champagne Life" singer also detailed what he and his Compound Entertainment company have been doing to personally help with relief efforts. "Since we been out here, we did these wristbands," Ne-Yo said, holding the wristband up to the camera. "The wristband says 'Our prayers are with Japan.' We've been selling these at every show. Plus, we did T-shirts that say 'Spread [With] Through Music,' as well as posters. We've raised somewhere close to $100,000 just in merchandise. All of the proceeds of this stuff goes straight to the victims of the quake and tsunami. Not to mention, a percentage of the proceeds of the shows themselves goes to the victims of the quake and tsunami. We're definitely out here making a difference, more than just singing and dancing."
Ne-Yo said his as-yet-untitled forthcoming album, the follow up to 2010's Libra Scale, will be in stores sometime in September.