All Articles Tagged "Ne-Yo"

Bet You Didn’t Know: Secrets Behind The Making Of The Wiz Live!

September 12th, 2016 - By Nneka Samuel
Share to Twitter Email This
Source: NBC

Source: NBC

The Wiz Live!, NBC’s third and by far most popular live musical event (especially with Twitter) since 2013 took audiences by storm last year. Not that the cast, featuring newcomer Shanice Williams as Dorothy, David Alan Grier, Elijah Kelley, Ne-Yo, Queen Latifah, Common, Mary J. Blige, Uzo Aduba and Stephanie Mills, to name a few, had any real pressure – what with the beloved Broadway musical and 1978 film starring Diana Ross, Michael Jackson and Lena Horne to boot. But they did an amazing job bringing the beloved musical to audiences – new and old alike. Want to know how they pulled it off? Here are some secrets behind the making of The Wiz Live!

#RelationshipGoals: Meagan Good, DeVon Franklin Remind Us Couples Who Work Out Together Stay Together

September 12th, 2016 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
Share to Twitter Email This

Source: Corbis Images

Source: Corbis Images

Studies have found that couples who work out together, stay together. Why? Because they’re happier, healthier and more in love.

A study in 2000 found that after doing a physical challenge or activity as a couple, pairs felt happier with their relationships and more in love with their significant other.

And not to mention, having someone hold you accountable helps you reach your fitness goals. Plus, exercise, in general, can help you live longer to stay around longer for your spouse.

But how many of us are really hitting the track, the gym, the court and more with our partners? Meagan Good and husband DeVon Franklin are making it happen, going hard in the gym as a couple. The pair recently shared video of themselves running with resistance bands strapped to them, doing bench jumps, mountain climbers, sledgehammer workouts, pushing weighted sleds and more. Oh, and fitting in a kiss here and there:


They also find time to be active together by riding bikes around L.A., which is super cute:


A photo posted by DeVon Franklin (@devonfranklin) on

But they’re not the only couple who like to get active. In fact, Ne-Yo and his wife, Crystal Renay, actually work out with the same coach as Good and Franklin, celebrity trainer Mike T. They also look like quite the fit pair:

Love a fit and fab couple! If you and your partner can make the time, exercise together. Not only can you get in shape together, but teaming up can help make the workout struggle a little less real. Talk about a win-win.

“Save Some Of You For You” Monyetta Shaw On Learning From Her Relationship With Ne-Yo and Her Book Bigger Than Me

April 20th, 2016 - By Veronica Wells
Share to Twitter Email This

Timeless 👑 🙆🏽 @iamhairslayyer 🎨 @makeupbykimaris #MonyettaShaw #BiggerThanMe 📚 #letsgo

A photo posted by Monyetta Shaw (@monyettashaw) on

Many of us fell in love with Monyetta Shaw watching her on “Atlanta Exes.” And many of our hearts broke hearing the story about how her former fiancé, singer, songwriter Ne-Yo, called off their engagement two months before their wedding. Incidentally, this was after Shaw had her tubes burned, because this was what they both agreed upon. (Ne-Yo said it was going to get a vasectomy but that never happened.) But y’all know the story. And in case you forgot it, the New York Post, did a great job of providing a recap. Turns out, Shaw wasn’t exactly thrilled about that interview for several reasons. MadameNoire reached out to Monyetta to not only get her thoughts on the interview but to clear up any misconceptions. We asked her how she moved past the hurt and what readers can expect from her book Bigger Than Me. And of course what’s her relationship with Ne-Yo and Crystal like these days.

See what she had to say below.

You expressed that you were less than satisfied about the way the Post ultimately portrayed you in their story. Can you tell us why you were unhappy with it?

Basically, it was supposed to be a question and answer interview. And right off top, she was asking questions about the past and things I no longer feel anymore and it didn’t have anything to do with the book. It’s not in my book; therefore, I didn’t want to discuss them. So, in a nutshell she basically made up what she wanted the book to be about. She was a fan of the show and we talked about it, we laughed. And she took things from there and put it in the interview and then, to add insult to injury, acted as if I wrote it, in the form of first person. I’m like, ‘Yo, that’s insane.’ It blew my mind. She said key words that I did not want her to say, that she said she wouldn’t say…it was horrible.

So would you say that what she included was untrue or it was just something you didn’t want to discuss at the time?

Anyone who watched the show [“Atlanta Exes”] knew the facts so it wasn’t necessarily untrue; however, she’s bringing up stuff that’s not important to where I am in my life so it’s unfair. And it’s not the message that I’m trying to send out to the world now. My ex and I are in a good place, we’re co-parenting. And that’s what the book is about. It’s not about bringing up stuff that could possibly ruin what we have.

So tell us about the place that you are in right now?

I am in a really, really good place in my life right now. The kids are amazing. They’ve always been my first priority. We got into our first choice school, which was a huge thing. It was like a six-month process. Working on my businesses, the Evan Grace Group, children’s book. I’m dating. Not going to disclose names. I’m just really excited about what God has in store. Glad to be on the other side.

How did you get here?

Giiirrrl, a lot of prayer and having supportive friends and family. My dad is the key to that. When I would be going through certain situations, I would call him. He would come through and give me a good scripture and keep it 100 percent, no matter if it hurt me or not. Just give me the real. You need that. You might not want it but you need it. And basically, just writing my book and getting it out was my therapy, just like the show was my therapy at that time. I discussed things that I’ve never discussed before and I feel like this is it. I’m putting it out there in this book and that’s the close of the chapter.

Is It Shady To Name A Child After His Father If He’s Not The First-Born Son?

March 18th, 2016 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
Share to Twitter Email This

Ne-Yo's Ex Says She Thought He Would Come Back

Splash News

Would you feel some type of way if your ex’s new partner named their first son after him, even though your child is the first-born son?

That’s what our video producer came into our office asking after seeing the first front-facing picture of Ne-Yo and Crystal Renay’s son, Shaffer Chimere Smith, Jr., which Renay shared yesterday:

What a cutie! He looks like a babydoll, right?

But back to the topic at hand.

When our producer asked the question, both editorial assistant Lauren Fox and I said no. The name was, in a way, up for grabs. So why not? But as I saw more and more pictures from Mr. and Mrs. Smith, I did get an interesting energy from it all.

But I can see things from both sides.

You see, my brother’s son David* is a Jr., but he’s not the first-born son. Around the time David Jr. was born, no one on my brother’s side of the family thought anything of him taking his father’s name. The first-born son, Michael*, is a twin, so his mother called him something that sounded similar to his twin sister’s name–Michelle*. Therefore, David Jr. was available, and I guess my brother wanted his own namesake. My brother is the third David (his father and his grandfather were Davids too), so my sister-in-law decided to keep the tradition going.

Nevertheless, I do believe that that name choice was something that made the very real tension between the mother of Michael and Michelle, and my brother and his wife, that much more thick. And I do get the impression that it was something that Michael was a little hurt about as he got older. But I don’t think the intentions my brother and his wife had were negative. And for the most part, when women do decide to name the second son of a man after the child’s father, I don’t assume it’s usually meant to be something “na-na-na-boo-boo” petty.

However, everyone is different. So at the same time, if I put myself in the shoes of a mother, like Monyetta Shaw, I might feel a jolt. I might be upset about it. It’s not something to start a big quarrel over, but it would be interesting. Particularly in this situation, where people have accused Renay of flaunting her relationship with Ne-Yo in an attempt to make Shaw feel bad since she was so hurt by the end of their long-term relationship.

We know the whole story. We know about the promises. We know about the plan not to have any more kids and the burned fallopian tubes. We know about the breakup and the declaration that he wasn’t 100 percent ready to commit to being married. We know about the new relationship, the engagement, the wedding without the presence of Ne-Yo’s kids, and now, the newborn baby in the baby carriage. So for some, like our video producer, and those who actually took to Renay’s Instagram page during the name announcement to criticize her, you could have a reason to question intentions.

But then again, Ne-Yo’s children with Monyetta were given M names when they were born, which was obviously a nod to their mother:

With that being said, what do you make of all this? I’m just going to stay neutral because I don’t know how I would feel if were either woman. But I definitely hope that, behind the scenes for the Smiths and Shaw, things aren’t as shady as people think they are and seem for the sake of their children.


* indicates that names have been changed

Ne-Yo And Wife Crystal Renay Welcome New Son, Shaffer Smith Jr.

March 16th, 2016 - By Veronica Wells
Share to Twitter Email This

Ne-Yo And Wife Crystal Renay Welcome New Son, Shaffer Smith Jr.

Source: Instagram

Just three weeks after exchanging vows, artist Ne-Yo and his wife Crystal Renay have welcomed their first child, a son.

Smith announced the arrival of “Prince SJ” on her Snapchat yesterday with an image of herself holding her son’s hand.

As you might assume, SJ stands for Shaffer Jr., named after his father.

We knew the baby was coming after Crystal Renay shared a picture of the couple of her husband kissing her belly with the caption,

“I began this journey with you and here we are at the finish line stronger than ever TOGETHER! I feel so blessed and frightened at the same time but I know that God and you have my back. I can look to you for strength when I feel mine failing and know that in you I’ll find me. My family, friends and sincere supporters know how monumental tonight is for me and I thank you all for being there for me and loving me unconditionally through my process. I couldn’t have made it through without you.”

Earlier this morning, she shared the details of little Shaffer’s birth.

This is Crystal’s first child and Ne-Yo’s third.

Congratulations to this couple!

Here’s Why “The Wiz Live” Attracted 11.5 Million Viewers Last Night

December 4th, 2015 - By Veronica Wells
Share to Twitter Email This

I have so many thoughts about last night’s live production of “The Wiz Live.” It was just everything. I’ll formulate my thoughts more clearly on the following pages. While I was legitimately sad when it was over, I was also so very full. It was a beautiful display that went beyond just entertainment value. What I saw last night was good for my spirit. The recent and persistent evils of this world have had me feeling down lately and this uplifter was much needed. With so much racism and  sexism, it was nothing short of therapeutic for the Black community to see such a display of Black excellence, particularly from a cast that featured quite a few amazing women.

Check out the best and most standout moments from the production and watch the full show again or for the first time, on the last page.

“It’s A Part Of Who I Am, It’s A Part Of Why I Am”: “The Wiz Live” Cast Share What The Story Means To Them

December 1st, 2015 - By Veronica Wells
Share to Twitter Email This

Source: NBC

Source: NBC

Just when I thought I couldn’t be any more invested in “The Wiz Live,” we had an opportunity to speak with the cast members about their experience rehearsing for this live, televised event on Thursday, December 3. We interviewed some of the biggest names in entertainment and they had a lot to say about this project. But more than anything, the cast members kept reiterating how important The Wiz, both the play and the feature film, were to not only themselves but to the African American community as a whole.

Check out some of the thoughts, memories and passion shared by both the on-stage talent as well as the folks behind the curtain.

Source: NBC

Source: NBC

Stephanie Mills, Auntie Em

I knew of Shanice (who plays Dorothy) before they actually cast her because Kenny and I were having a talk and he said, ‘There’s this girl and I know she’s Dorothy, I know she’s Dorothy.’

I’ve given her love. I told her you can’t–I don’t want you to try to do what I did. She’s her Dorothy, the 2015 Dorothy. It’s her. I did my part 40 years ago.

It’s emotional because I see myself in her. I see the innocence, how young I was doing it and how afraid I was at that time. It brings back all those memories.

Executive producer, Craig Zadan: I don’t think we had any pressure. We took it on because we love it and we thought it would make a great show for us to do. What we were surprised at was the amount of people who called us. I would say this was the first time in our lives that very prominent African American artists, actors, directors, producers called us to say ‘Do you know how important this is to the community? Don’t blow it.’ And we realized at that moment that there’s a reverence for this material. We didn’t take it on for the reverence. We took it on because we loved it. But then you realize that there is that added responsibility of making sure that it’s done correctly. And we’ve done it correctly. We hope. We hope when you all see that you feel it’s done correctly too.

MN: Was there a moment when you felt like ‘ok, this is right’?

Executive producer, Neil Meron: Yeah. At the table read when it was all the talent in one room and we heard how much they collectively felt the same way about the material and what we were about to do. It felt good.

(Photo by: Paul Gilmore/NBC)

(Photo by: Paul Gilmore/NBC)

Amber Riley, Addaperle (Good Witch of the North)

I don’t know how old I was but I remember watching [The Wiz] and rewinding it over and over again. And I remember trying to do “Ease on Down The Road.” I remember the music, I specifically remember the music.

Before even hearing what names were going to be a part of [this production], I wanted to be a part of it anyway. I didn’t really care who was going to be in it. You know, this is iconic. The fact that my mom has seen it and that was her first Broadway show and then I saw it in the movie and now my niece is four is going to be able to watch it. Anything that can withstand generations has to be amazing. There’s something special about it and I really wanted to be a part of that.

Update: Ne-Yo Engaged To Crystal Renay, Expecting Third Child

August 31st, 2015 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
Share to Twitter Email This

Update 9/1/15:

Neyo has taken to social media to dispel rumors regarding his relationship with Crystal Renay. The couple is expecting their first child together and are engaged to be married, but they have not tied the knot yet.


A photo posted by NE-YO (@neyo) on

2015 has been an exciting year for Neyo.

Just days after subtly announcing his marriage to girlfriend, Crystal Renay, the singer-songwriter—whose birth name is Shaffer Smith—confirmed that they’re also expecting a baby.

The 35-year-old singer, who is already father to Mason and Madilyn Smith, made the shocking revelations on Instagram, of all places. And apparently, he anticipated that the news would attract its share of backlash because his announcement included a low-key jab at critics.

“Happiness. Go get you some,” he wrote. “Shouts to @j3collection for the flick and the lovely @mscrystalrenay of course for making it look so good. (She’s the sexy in this couple😏 I just try to keep up) #ClassicCouple #AT #HO #TheSmiths #BeHappyForMyHappyOrJustBeQuiet.”

The “So Sick” singer has been the target of much criticism since his ex-fiancée and mother of his two children, Monyetta Shaw, revealed the circumstances surrounding their 2013 breakup. As you may recall, Shaw appeared as a cast member on VH1’s “Atlanta Exes” where she expressed regret over deciding to tie and burn her tubes after a conversation with Smith, who was her fiancé at the time the decision was made, about not wanting more children. He later broke up with her over the phone.

Ballerific Comment Creepin ——🌾👀🌾 #Neyo #commentcreepin

A photo posted by Baller Alert (@balleralert) on

Smith and Shaw have since put aside their differences, and it seems that she and Renay are on good terms as well. Back in April, the women met for the first time and Shaw shared that it was a pleasant experience.

“Actually, it’s funny that you asked that, I recently met her – I met her this weekend. As a mother, it’s my duty to meet the person that’s potentially going to be around my kids,” the mother of two told said last year. “It’s definitely time for me to meet her, get to know her, well start to get to know her, and that’s what I did. Actually, it was all good – pleasantly surprised.”

It’s refreshing to see that everyone has moved on and can be cordial for the sake of the children involved in this situation.

Congrats to both Neyo and Crystal!

#CrystalRenay's bestie confirms baby and marriage! Congratulations!! #Neyo

A photo posted by The Shade Room (@theshaderoom) on

Follow Jazmine on Twitter @JazmineDenise

Meet The Men Of “The Wiz Live!”

August 13th, 2015 - By Veronica Wells
Share to Twitter Email This



the men of the wiz feat

With each passing week, I get more and more excited about NBC’s “The Wiz Live!” The cast, from Uzo Aduba to David Alan Grier to Queen Latifah, is looking like it’s going to be top notch.

And now we’re getting word on the fellas.

Common, Ne-Yo and Elijah Kelley are joining the party as well.

Common will take the role of the gate keep of Oz, Ne-Yo will play the Tin Man and Elijah will be playing the Scarerow.

Can you see it? Are you here for these choices?

Angela Simmons Inspires And Encourages Harlem Youth With GIRLTALK #takeover Event

July 31st, 2015 - By Veronica Wells
Share to Twitter Email This

GIRLTALK #takeover

GIRLTALK #takeover

On Wednesday, 200 girls in Harlem were treated like divas. The girls, ages 8-16, were received manicures, runway walk tutorials, makeovers and much more in an attempt to inspire them to feel beautiful, confident and informed.

The day-long event was the brainchild of Angela Simmons and her partner Kerri Berson Levine. The two, who had been friends for a while, had spoken about hosting an event for young girls often. Three years ago, through a partnership with the Boys and Girls Club, they launched what is now GIRLTALK #takeover.

In addition to the beauty component, there were fitness activities hosted by Pretty Girls Sweat, a yoga class. And in a classroom on the premises, health professionals spoke to the teenagers about healthy romantic relationships, reproductive health and puberty.

During this session, Simmons popped in to discuss the pressure many girls feel to engage in sex, perhaps prematurely.

She shared that she’s a virgin, waiting to marriage to have sex.

I had a chance to chat with Simmons and she explained that she felt it was important to share that story.

“I feel like in this day and age with social media, that decision is often made for them. So I want them to be able to make their own decision on what they want to do and to know that if they make the decision, they’re not an alien, they’re not by themselves.” 

In addition to these lessons, the girls had a few surprises that day when 14-year-old Little leaguer and Espy Award winner Mo’Ne Davis showed up to give a slew of hugs, sign autographs and take pictures.

Later, artists Ne-Yo, Justine Skye and Simmons’ younger brother Diggy came through to meet the girls.

This won’t be the last time you hear of GIRLTALK #takeover as there are plans to take the program to other cities in the nation.

Check out some pictures from the fun and festive day below.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.