A thankful and surprised Ne-Yo received a Grammy nomination last week for Album of the Year – but if you listened to the singer at the press conference and on The Ralphie Radio Show, you wouldn’t know who should receive the credit.

Ne-Yo’s Year of the Gentleman marked somewhat of a departure from the crooner that fans knew from his rookie LP. You need not look further than the dance-driven “Closer”, which served as the lead single. Some called the song a microcosm of the evolution of his sound.

But in a Ralphie Radio Show exclusive, this progression ignited conflict within the star’s record label, Island Def Jam Music Group, resulting in a number of trips back in to the recording studio as well as a couple of delays in the album’s release. When Ne-Yo called me in June, I brought up to him an August 5 release date.

“August 5, that’s pending right now too,” he revealed. “I was listening to the record as a whole, and I realized, I did a lot of experimenting with this new one. Just with different genres of music. But I went so far with it, that I kind of left out my core audience.”

Fast forward to last week – Ne-Yo speaking with the media at the Grammy Nomination Ceremony Press Conference:

“Closer wasn’t exactly embraced right away, in the very beginning you know. And I gotta give a shout out to L.A. Reid, I gotta give a shout out to my manager – people… that stayed with that record because in the beginning, people were like, ‘Ehh, we don’t know about this one Ne-Yo, you might have went somewhere we don’t know,’ but they kept with it, they told me to keep with it, and here we are, “Album of the Year.”

The first conflict is that Ne-Yo told me that it was his idea to push back the release date and record more tracks – as opposed to other people within his camp. But the second, another Ralphie Radio Show exclusive, is that it was the man he thanked, label head L.A. Reid, that told Ne-Yo to record more tracks “for his core.”

The mystery of the inspiration behind Ne-Yo rerecording tracks for the LP may never be officially revealed by Island Def Jam – and with another Grammy Nomination under the label’s belt, I’m sure it won’t be anytime soon.


In a move inspired by the holidays and the current state of the economy, E&R Entertainment announced a drop in ticket prices for the T.I. concert. The show, which also features Young Jeezy and a special guest performer, goes down December 29 inside The Wachovia Arena.

The lowest ticket prices dropped over half price, from the $75 range to $35. Other seats can be purchased at $50, $65, $75, and $125.

In a text message, the promoter cited both the holidays as well as the number of younger kids, who may not have as much expendable income, but want to attend the show regardless.

E&R Entertainment also promoted the successful Lil’ Wayne show last October.

Listen to Ralphie Aversa weekdays from 5-10p on 97 BHT.

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