It was on the 2018 Miss Universe stage that award-winning R&B artist and producer Ne-Yo gave audiences the first listen to his new music.
Fast forward to the recently concluded NBA Finals, the memories from the night of beauty and pageantry were still very fresh for Ne-Yo, particularly sharing moments onstage with Filipina Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray.
“Honestly, I was just feeling like a very blessed man to be surrounded by so many beautiful women at one time. It was kind of a toss-up. Everybody was equally beautiful. I wasn’t jealous of the judges, the people that had to decide who was gonna win because everybody was breathtaking,” he said.
One look at Ne-Yo’s moves on stage and it doesn’t seem as if much time has passed since the release of his first studio album with his chart-topping hit “So Sick.”
But one thing Ne-Yo hasn’t gotten sick off is when people cover his music.
“Shout out to everyone that has covered any record of mine so far. Know that I am listening, know that I am watching, know that I appreciate all the love,” he said.
Fifteen years later, Ne-Yo said much has changed for him as an artist and as a man.
“The album that I have right now is entitled ‘Good Man.’ It’s basically kind of the transformation that I made after I met my wife. I am happily married now. We’ve been together for five [years], married for three. I can honestly say she changed my life for the better. This is about letting people know that it can also be fly and cool to be involved, to be with just one person,” he said.
Ne-Yo’s “Good Man” features a number of collaborations with other artists including Bebe Rexha and Partynextdoor, as well as Spanish track “Nights Like These” featuring Romeo Santos.
But Ne-Yo said he isn’t limiting himself to just Spanish collaborations.
“Absolutely. I’m not opposed to work with anybody that wants to try to push the envelope and do something that’s gonna stand a test of time. Any Filipino artist out there that wants to do it, let’s get it on. Let’s get in the lab and let’s do something magical,” he said.
Ne-Yo first came to Manila for concerts in 2008 followed by performances in 2010 and 2015 making him no stranger to Filipino culture and the strength of his Filipino fan base.
“To all of my beautiful Filipino fans, thank you so much for the love and support over the years,” he said.
Ne-Yo can be seen regularly as a judge on the upcoming season four of “World of Dance” as well as making more music for his eighth studio album.