The 32-year-old songwriter, arranger, and vocalist, who was born in Arkansas but raised in Las Vegas, jump started his illustrious musical career penning songs as a teenager.
The R&B performer, whose actual name is Shaffer Smith, was joined by fellow inductee entertainment legends Bette Midler and Bob Seger in to the prestigious institution, which has recognized accomplishments in the industry as well as those who are pioneers in their craft since 1969.
Ne-Yo was honored with the Hal David Starlight Award, which is given to young songwriters. After being inducted by record producer Swizz Beatz, Ne-Yo told the crowd of nearly a thousand that he didn’t prepare a speech because he still could not believe he was standing there.
The Grammy Award-winning musician, who has amassed a catalog of chart-topping songs that he has written for other artists, accepted the coveted honor and gave mega-props to his musician mother for fueling him to pursue his dreams.
“I was a pretty riled up little kid. If not for my mom giving me the pad and the pen and telling me to take my emotions and put them there, there’s no telling. I might I have been sticking you up or something,” he said.