Ne-Yo attends a press conference ahead of the Nobel Peace Prize Concert at Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel on December 11, 2012 in Oslo, Norway

Ne-Yo attends a press conference ahead of the Nobel Peace Prize Concert at Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel on December 11, 2012 in Oslo, Norway

*Word has it that Ne-Yo is being considered for one of the two vacant “X Factor” seats next to Simon Cowell on the judging panel next season.

The recording artist, born Shaffer Chimere Smith, currently heads up A&R at Motown Records. He confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter that talks about replacing L.A. Reid have commenced, but those conversations are still in the very early stages.

“I don’t want anybody to put too much stock in that,” says Ne-Yo. “It honestly and truly may not happen. It’s just conversation right now, and everybody knows that in L.A., until the ink is dry on the contract, nothing is for certain.”

That’s not to say Ne-Yo wouldn’t say yes if offered the position.

“I feel like I have some vital information that I can give to an artist that will guarantee them as a career as opposed to a flash-in-the-pan,” he muses. “And we all know that it’s very, very easy for that to happen nowadays.” Adding: “So with that being said, yeah, I could definitely do it.”
There are already critics of the singer who believe he’s not as qualified as Reid – or even outgoing judge Britney Spears.

“I heard that there were some people that felt like that I hadn’t been as successful as Britney Spears or LA Reid, completely ignoring the fact that I haven’t been in the business as long as either one of them, but that’s neither here nor there. They didn’t feel like that I would have any kind of input to give to an up-and-coming artist,” he says.

“I feel like nothing could be farther from the truth. I really don’t feel like I would have a job as an A&R person at a prestigious record label if I didn’t have something to give to an up-and-coming artist.”

As the label’s senior vice president of A&R, Ne-Yo currently serves as a mentor to all Motown talent while seeking out and signing new artists.