Ne-Yo broke into the recording industry as a songwriter, penning the hit "Let Me Love You" for singer Mario. The single's successful release in the United States prompted an informal meeting between Ne-Yo and Def Jam's label head, and signing a recording contract.
In 2006, he released his debut album, In My Own Words, which contained the US number one hit "So Sick". Then in 2007, he released his second album, Because of You which contained the US top 3 hit, "Because of You". In 2008, he released his third album, Year of the Gentleman, which contained the top 10 hits "Closer" and "Miss Independent". His fourth studio album Libra Scale was released on November 22, 2010. He played Kevin Harris in Battle: Los Angeles.