With a No. 1-selling album and six Grammy Award nominations this year already under his belt, Ne-Yo – the artist formerly known as Shaffer Smith when he went to Rancho High School in Las Vegas – will now kick off his first tour as a headliner in his Las Vegas hometown this Thursday, February 5, at 8 p.m. when he performs at The Pearl at the Palms Casino& Hotel.
Oddly enough, Ne-Yo wasn’t studying music when in high school- he was there for visual arts, drawing and painting. In fact, no one knew he could sing.
Coming full circle, this Sunday at the Grammy’s he will be hob-knobbing with his competition including Jay-Z and Kanye West, each of whom also has six nominations.
His Grammy nominations this year include Album of the Year and Best Contemporary R&B Album for “Year Of The Gentleman,” Best Male Pop Vocal Performance for “Closer” and Best Male R&B Vocal Performance; and, in the songwriter category, Best R&B Song for “Miss Independent,” and for “Spotlight,” recorded by Jennifer Hudson.