Ne-Yo Departs Def Jam; Signs Major Deal With New Label

Published: Wednesday 25th Jan 2012 by Sam

In a somewhat surprising move, R&B star Ne-Yo has left Def Jam – the label he’s called home since bursting onto the scene in 2006.

Full story after the jump…

Most label departures are oft bitter and the bi-product of politics and poor record sales. However, neither have defined the 32 year old’s split from the industry juggernaut.

For, not only is he remaining under the same corporate umbrella (Universal Music), the singer has taken up a lucrative position which’ll ensure his presence both on the front and back-end of the industry. He has signed with Motown Records.

By no means a “by the numbers” deal, the blockbuster move will see him serve as Senior VP of A&R at the newly re-structured label; a role which will see him produce and mentor the label’s artists and also discover and sign new talent.

What’s more, he’ll be  bringing over his Compound Entertainment imprint – which will be now be distributed by Motown.

Speaking of the change, the hitmaker said:

“I’m honored that I¹ve 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 career role models, Mr. Smokey Robinson — these are big shoes to fill. But trust, I can handle it.”

With Universal Music CEO Barry Weiss adding:

“His track record of success at Def Jam will always be a benchmark. But this move to Motown will provide new and inspiring challenges for Ne-Yo as both an artist and a key member of the new senior management team that is taking form at the label in 2012.”



Ne-Yo’s first release under the new partnership will be his fifth studio album, which he EXCLUSIVELY revealed to That Grape Juice is called ‘The Cracks In Mr. Perfect’. The LP is due this summer.

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  1. shy b**** January 25, 2012


  2. deena January 25, 2012

    This is very good news ! Neyo is very talented from his songwriting to his love to keep mj’s style of music alive .I feel so happy for him and he has been working with keri hilson on her 3rd album great!

  3. Stacy January 25, 2012

    Motown is still under Universal Records like Def Jam so he hasn’t really made a major split. I guess he and Dream are moving into the background now because they aren’t focusing on being artists anymore.

  4. i January 25, 2012

    neyo is a libra and all libra men are just s*** and the nicest men you will ever meet.usher is also a libra yummy!

  5. jill January 25, 2012

    @SHY B****
    No offense but if Rihanna leaves Def Jam Her career will be NO more. Def Jam is her magical label that helps her so much, without them there would be NO rihanna.

  6. Beeyonced January 25, 2012

    Congratz Ne-Yo, Motown’s only ‘hit’ after the golden era was Boyz II Men thou.

    But with this move I asssume he wants to get out of the limelight and makes his money mostly behind the scenes. Too bad, he was a breath of fresh air in this horrendous state of music. He’s a hell of a s*** love for me Ms. Independent.

  7. DMWN January 25, 2012

    It’s the same company. All he’s doing is changing logos.

  8. i January 25, 2012


  9. Steph January 25, 2012

    Love Ne-yo! Congrats!!

  10. Angel d January 25, 2012

    Good for neyo! Btw..ive alwayz seen him as a talented song writer, producer etc, more than a performer! So this would be better for him and his career in general, @jill I agree with ya rihanna needs the island defjam behind her to push her fast food music! ( Sorry but true..)

  11. @antertain January 25, 2012

    That change was needed. I hope he actually bring through artist though because could easily be lead astray by focussing only on his on materials with the label

  12. Jboss January 25, 2012

    This also great news for r&b music.

  13. Jaiyah January 25, 2012

    Happy for Ne-yo, I hope he could re-sign Mya to Motown and produce a hit album for her!

  14. Aaron January 25, 2012

    He may have revealed the title to TGJ, but this website is deemed unreliable by Wikipedia.

  15. Licious January 25, 2012

    I thought Motown Records merged with Def Jam… So confused.

  16. Cheeki-Mann January 25, 2012

    Yep usually when they move to the backend it means they know they pretty much suck on the front end. Face it, ne-yo hasnt sold much or landed platinum albums. Thus it’s more a salary post as a A&R mentor, producer, songwriter. Like Dream, he will most likely flop!!

  17. Principality January 25, 2012

    Jaiyah I don’t think Mya would go back to Motown she’s pretty much pushing her own label and doing distribution deals with these labels because she is releasing her new album K.I.S.S world wide on the 14 February marking her 14th year in the industry and it did well since its release in the US/ Canada territories.

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