people were telling me, ‘You’re nobody till they think you’re gay,’ ” he began, explaining another rumor that he subsequently denied. “I’m adding this to that. Now that Karrine Steffans has claimed me, I guess I’ve officially arrived. I’ve made the second book, cool.” Ne-Yo was on a long list of performers at the Essence festival, which also included BeyoncÃ©, Ciara, Chris Brown, Mary J. Blige and others. When asked about his upcoming projects, Ne-Yo talked about working with one of his favorite artist, Mary J. Blige, as well as other artists. “The coolest thing about Mary J. Blige is that she’s real people,” he said of the collaboration. “I’m doing some stuff for her new project. So it was simply a matter of us being in the studio. I told her I wanted to do a remix and that I would love if she would do a verse. She said, ‘Yeah, sure, put it on.’ That was it. It wasn’t, ‘Let me call my manager and let your manager call my manager and your people call my people.’ It wasn’t like that; it was simply, ‘Yeah, let’s do it.’ We did it, and the rest is history.” Ne-Yo is also writing new music for Nicole Scherzinger of the Pussycat Dolls, Janet Jackson, Celine Dion, Michael Jackson, Usher and Whitney Houston.
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