He's one of music's most popular and celebrated wordsmiths, but after six Grammy nominations Wednesday night (December 3), including one for Album of the Year,
As usual, though, he let his smooth sounds do all the talking.
"Whoooo!" the 29-year-old multi-hyphenate exclaimed to MTV News backstage at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles, moments after he learned he was nominated for six Grammys. "It's ridiculous. I'm a songwriter. Words are supposed to come easily to me, but they're not! I'm gonna just smile!
"I wanted to turn a cartwheel, but these shoes are really slippery, and it would have been more embarrassing than celebratory," he added, amazingly composed despite obvious elation and glee. "I'm floating. I'm on a cloud right now."
A previous winner at last year's ceremony for Best Contemporary R&B Album, Ne-Yo found himself once again nominated in the category for Year of the Gentleman. In addition to Album of the Year, he also picked up nominations for Best Male Pop Performance ("Closer"), Best Male R&B Performance ("Miss Independent"), Best R&B Song, and Best Remixed Recording, Non-Classical, although only the first was officially announced as part of the Grammys' new special.
"They came up and they told me, 'Oh, by the way, you got six. It wasn't just that one.' That works too! Damn! That means that I have six chances to win a Grammy. One nomination would have been enough for me. How do you do anything but smile at that?" Ne-Yo enthused. "This is the Grammys. This is not a game!"
If Ne-Yo has reason to smile and laugh and celebrate, though, his reaction has nothing on his mother's, the singer/songwriter said.
"My mom has been blowing me up!" he said of repeated phone calls. "I'm not gonna call her back right now, because I know she's gonna cry!"
The biggest winner beside Ne-Yo or his mom, though? How about the contractor she'll pay to design his trophy room, the singer laughed when asked what he would do if he walked away with two hands' worth of gold.
"My mom, she took the first one [I won, and put it on a pedestal that spins]," he said, smiling about the mere possibility of a clean sweep. "Guess she's gonna have to call the guy that built that and get six more!"