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Exclusive: Ne-Yo Talks New Rum, Strip Club Date Night

R&B singer Ne-Yo discusses his newest business venture with Malibu Red.
Ne-Yo is all about expanding his business ventures these days. Just weeks after signing on as Senior Vice President of at Motown Records, his new label home, the singer is launching a new line of Malibu rum called Malibu Red this weekend at the Grammys.

“It’s coconut rum and silver Tequila in the same bottle,” he tells ESSENCE.com. “It’s definitely a party starter.”

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Ne-Yo is also the creative director of Malibu Red and will be combining all of his talents — singing, acting, design — for the drink’s new promotion. “I wrote a song specifically for the launch,” he says. “[It’s] called ‘Burnin’ Up.'” Ne-Yo plans to unveil Malibu Red to his industry friends during his annual Midnight Brunch event this Saturday in Los Angeles. It’ll be made available in bars beginning March 2012.

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The Red Tails star got some not-so-welcome attention this week after some R-rated photographs of he and girlfriend Monyetta Shaw showering exotic dancers at a strip club with wads of cash popped up on TMZ. “Don’t like it? Mind ya damn business!” tweeted Ne-Yo on Wednesday.

Overall, he says he’s unbothered by criticism. “Trying to please all the people all the time is impossible. It’s not going to happen,” he tells ESSENCE.com. “I’m a human being and if people can overlook all of the great things I did because I went to the strip club one night, then people’s priorities aren’t in the right place. I don’t feel like I did anything wrong… It really doesn’t make any sense to me.”