Ne-Yo Gives First-Timers The Scoop On Winning Your First Grammy!

Before Sunday's show, Grammy-nominated 'Let's Go' singer opens up to MTV News about his first win back in 2008.

With the Grammy Awards so close, this year’s rookies might want to pay attention to what Ne-Yo has to say about his first-ever Grammy win. It seems that you can’t ever go into Grammy night with any expectations or any idea of what the night has in store for you.

Why? Well, the Grammy-winning singer/songwriter notes, “Pretty much you’re in the dark, until you get there.”

Ne-Yo opened up to MTV News about his first Grammy win, which took place way back in 2008. That’s the night he took home gold for Best Contemporary R&B Album for Because of You. The current Grammy nominee took us step by step through the night, giving an inside glimpse at the nonstop chaos of winning a Grammy.

But, for Ne-Yo his first win (and subsequent two) have not looked how he always imagined they would. “That’s when I found out that there are so many categories, not all of them get televised,” he shared about that initial win five years ago. “So the Grammys that I’ve won have always been in categories that are not televised. So I’m walking to the carpet, going into the Grammys, and like a ghost comes up behind me [and says] ‘You just won a Grammy.’ ”

He called that win “a great honor,” but noted that getting to the show and winning without the cameras rolling “was a little bittersweet, for me, because in my mind my Grammy win was supposed to be sitting in the chair, and then they say your name, and then you give your best ‘Oh my god’ face and you get up and you get on stage and you thank your mom and you thank God, the whole nine.”

Ne-Yo, who had been nominated before, didn’t go into the 2008 show with a speech prepared. “No, I actually hadn’t. I prefer, for me, personally it always means more when someone speaks from the heart, when you know the person is speaking from the heart, it’s genuine and it’s real,” he said. “Not to say there’s anything wrong with coming prepared. There’s definitely nothing wrong with that, but for me, when I do it, I’m gonna get up there and speak from the heart.”

And, upon winning, there was only one person the hitmaker knew he wanted to call. “Well, I called my mom right away. I called mom and told her ‘One down,’ ” he recalled. “I got the chance to sit there [inside the show right after], sit down in my chair and enjoy the show and everything. And then after the fact, go to the press room. It’s definitely a whirlwind when it happens, once you get in there. For me, the best part of it was being able to call my mom and tell her we got one in the can.”

But, before he could do press, Ne-Yo spent the night sitting there, with one big thought on the brain. “For me, what was running through my mind was the fact that I wasn’t going to be able to publicly thank my mom. That’s the only thing I was thinking about,” he said,. “I was definitely happy that I had won the award. What my dream was to walk on that stage and in front of everybody say ‘thank you’ to the people that mean the most to you. Again when I get the opportunity to do so that’ll be a dream realized for me.”

In addition to actual trophy, which he is notes he was very honored to win, Ne-Yo also got some A-list congrats from the other artists who had attended the show that year. “Well I was sitting very near to Jay-Z and Kanye and all those guys and they all congratulated me, which is really cool,” he said. “But the person that stands out the most was Stevie Wonder. Actually Stevie Wonder said ‘Congratulations.’ And like I told you that’s one of the guys I’m trying to fashion my career behind.”

But the party is hardly over once the show ends. And, party Ne-Yo did. “Of course! You have to! You cannot win a Grammy and not go out and party and celebrate and probably do something really stupid,” he said. “But when you do something stupid and somebody calls you out on it you go ‘I just won a Grammy,’ and they go ‘Oh, ok’.”

He might want to rest up before Sunday. He’s up for yet another Grammy. This time he’s looking to take home the Grammy for Best Dance Recording with Calvin Harris for their single “Let’s Go.”

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