Ne-Yo, whose real name is Shaffer Chimere Smith, was born in Camden, Arkansas. He grew up there and in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The consensus among Question-Answer sites is that Ne-Yo was born Muslim, but then converted to Christianity during childhood along with his family. But I could find no information supporting that claim.
He has spoken about how Islam is a peaceful religion, but he is definitely a Christian. When asked about his spirituality he said,
I pray every day. Not a day goes by that I don’t. . . thank God for everything He’s done for me. Because I know that without Him none of this is possible. . . . He’s the creator of all things. Without God there is nothing.
He’s also been known to casually reference God in interviews and wear a crucifix. So regardless of his past, Christianity and religious tolerance are both very important to this songwriter.
Obama All The Way
I couldn’t find much information about Ne-Yo’s political beliefs aside from his enthusiastic support of Barack Obama. During the president’s re-election campaign in 2012, Ne-Yo recorded a song in support of Obama with other high-profile musicians including Johnny Rzeznik and Herbie Hancock.
For Ne-Yo, the election was too important not to get involved. He said,
I’m not gonna sit and complain with my friends about what’s wrong. I’m gonna get out and make sure that I do something to help fix whatever the hell is wrong. You can’t complain if you’re not gonna do anything about it.
One gets the impression that this R&B singer’s political fire was lit by the nation’s first black president, but he’s never said as much. Still, Ne-Yo stuck with Obama after many of his 2008 supporters lost their enthusiasm, so regardless of the reason why, he’s a dedicated fan.
NE-YO says Islam is a religion of peace and love.(HARUNYAHYA). ↩︎
Ne-Yo on Nicki Minaj: ‘We Don’t Have to Agree on Politics.’ ↩︎