Before he was a pop star, Ne-Yo made a decent living as a songwriter-for-hire, crafting hits for other singers. The decision to step into the spotlight grew from want rather than need — a distinction he'd come to appreciate as the child of a single mother growing up in Las Vegas.
Let's say you live in Canada — say, Toronto — and you like to sing. You're not in a band, you don't get asked to sing at weddings, but singing just kind of makes you happy. Well, every Tuesday night at a local bar, you'll find a crowd of people just like you, singing their hearts out.
Even in a city known for its eccentrics, Ernie K-Doe was in another dimension. The New Orleans musician always knew — and said, loudly — that he was special. And for one week in a life of wild ups and downs, he managed to pierce the national consciousness with a chart-topping hit: 1961's "Mother in Law."