Ne-Yo's New Pictures: The Gentleman Gallery

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ESSENCE.COM Sep, 15, 2008

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Ne-Yo’s new album, “Year of the Gentleman,” focuses on bringing classy back.

“This album, I’m letting all the fellas know that we’ve been a little sloppy and it’s time to step up our game,” he says. “In the year of the independent woman, she’s not settling for anything less.”

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The singer and songwriter’s signature style doesn’t include sagging pants.

“It’s just a matter of comfort,” he says. “I’m a shoe and hat addict. The clothes don’t make you, but having some sort of individual style is definitely a sign of a gentleman.”

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It will take a special lady to get Ne-Yo, the ultimate bachelor, to settle down.

“One of the perks to being in this business is that I meet beautiful women all day long, seven days a week, 24 hours a day—they’re always around,” he says. “So the one that’s going to get me to settle down is going to have to be real, real bad. I’m talking mentally, physically, spiritually.”

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Ne-Yo enjoys some fun in the sun.

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Ne-Yo hangs with French soccer player Patrice Evra.

“I’m definitely a fan of the Rat Pack,” he says. “I haven’t found my personal Rat Pack yet.”

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Ne-Yo serenades the crowd at the V.I.P. Room in Saint-Tropez.

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The crooner shows off his dance moves, many inspired by King of Pop Michael Jackson. He looks forward to working on Jackson’s upcoming album.

“I’ve been submitting songs to him,” he says. “He’ll call me and tell me which ones he likes and which ones he doesn’t, and then I’ll just send him some more.”

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Ne-Yo is up to the task of bringing debonair style back to the mainstream.

“You can be a gentleman in jeans and a T-shirt, but it’s about the way you wear it,” he says. “It’s about your charisma, your charm and your swag. That makes you a gentleman, not your clothes.”

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