, he sounds like he’s stopped trying.’ Following Usher, Ne-Yo took on a ‘Gentlemanly’ aura with “Year of the Gentleman,” his third studio album, released just in time for the Grammy deadline. A Best Contemporary R&B winner (Because of You), Ne-Yo, who is also an accomplished songwriter, looks poised for a Grammy-nod. His singles “Closer” and “Miss Independent” were well received, with “Closer” hitting #1 internationally. A collection of heartfelt songs featuring production from Polow Da Don and Stargate, Ne-Yo’s “Year of The Gentleman” was called “a superb concept album about what a great boyfriend he can be” by Rolling Stone. Rounding out what may be the top four contenders for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance is Al Green. After a still unforgettable performance at this year’s BET Awards, where Green received a Lifetime Achievement Award, the legendary soul singer toured in support of “Lay It Down,” his first top 10 album since 1973. The album, which featured the lead single “Stay With Me By The Sea (feat. John Legend),” has been heralded as somewhat of a ‘golden’ comeback for the singer. The “Love and Happiness” singer tapped ‘new blood’ (Ahmir “?uestlove” Thompson of the Roots and James Poyser) for the project this time out and by the looks of it, it might just earn him a Grammy. In fact, All Music Guilde has gone as far as deeming the project “a killer Al Green soul album.” R&B singers J. Holiday (Back Of My Lac); Raheem DeVaughn “Love Behind The Melody;” Trey Songz “Trey Day;” and John Legend are also high on the list with their respective projects. How do you feel about the 51st Annual Grammys ? Share your thoughts on who should or shouldn’t be nominated below… Click Here to see the Official 2009/51st Annual Grammy Award nominees * Please note: This editorial is purely for review purposes and is not representative of official nominations. All noted artists were reviewed based upon album releases between October 2007 and September 2008.
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