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Ne-Yo Named Senior Vice President of A&R, Motown Records

Jason Merritt, Getty Images

It’s been awhile since the glory days of Motown Records. But, it’s still one of the most respected labels in R&B, with arguably the richest catalog in the genre; and like any record company, it’s always just a breakout signing or two away from the top of the charts. To help find and secure that talent, the label has hired a brand new senior VP of A&R: multiplatinum artist and new Motown signee Ne-Yo.

“I’m a combination of excited, honored and terrified all at once!” said Ne-Yo in the press release announcing the move.  ”Excited about a new beginning here at Motown, honored that I’ve been given such a prestigious title and trusted with such responsibility, TERRIFIED because I know that playing this role, in the fashion of one of my idols and career role models Mr. Smokey Robinson, these are big shoes to fill … But trust, I can handle it.”

A&R, short for Artists & Repertoire, is the division of the label dedicated to finding new artists and managing the careers of talent already on the roster. In the early days of the music industry, A&R execs with finely tuned ears could become almost as famous as their discoveries — like the legendary John Hammond, who was involved in the careers of artists as diverse as Benny Goodman, Bob Dylan, and Stevie Ray Vaughan.

“We are honored and humbled to have Ne-Yo as a part of the Motown family, as both a recording artist and in an A&R role,” said Motown senior VP Ethiopia Habtemariam. ”We are committed to discovering, developing and nurturing R&B/Soul superstars here at Motown and in Ne-Yo we have both a global superstar and arguably one of the best songwriters in music. His presence on the executive team only strengthens our commitment to the very best in R&B.”

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