Ne-Yo Leaves Def Jam To Become Motown Exec

'I'm honored that I've been given such a prestigious title,' Ne-Yo says of new role as SVP in statement to MTV News.

When you think Motown Records, you think of artists like Diana Ross, the Temptations, Stevie Wonder and Smokey Robinson, just to name a few. Now Ne-Yo joins the legendary list of soul and R&B singers that will record under the iconic brand created by Berry Gordy in 1959.

The Grammy Award-winning singer (and co-star of the George Lucas-produced “Red Tails”) has moved from Def Jam to Motown Records, according to a statement sent to MTV News on Wednesday (January 25). Not only that, Ne-Yo will also take over as the label’s senior vice president of A&R.

“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,” the singer said in the statement.

Ne-Yo released his debut In My Own Words on Def Jam in 2006 and dropped three subsequent albums with the powerhouse hip-hop label. The singer/songwriter’s fifth LP will now come through Motown, which, like Def Jam, falls under the Universal umbrella. In addition to his artistry and ear for talent as an A&R, Ne-Yo will also bring his Compound Entertainment imprint over to Motown.

“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.”

Senior Vice President of Motown Ethiopia Habtemariam added that signing Ne-Yo, who has written for Rihanna (“Take A Bow”), Beyoncé (“Irreplaceable”) and Mario (“Let Me Love You”), will only bolster Motown’s historical reputation for making great R&B.

“We are committed to discovering, developing and nurturing R&B/soul superstars here at Motown,” she said. “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.”

What do you think of Ne-Yo’s move over to Motown? Tell us in the comments!

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