NeYo’s most famous work doesn’t have his name on it. He’s won three Grammy awards for his R&B albums, and debuted two albums in the Billboard Top 200. His single “Closer” is probably the most popular song in his personal discography, but it’s nothing compared to the songs he’s written.
As a songwriter, NeYo has written for Beyoncé, Mary J. Blige, Alexandra Burke, and Jennifer Hudson. He wrote Rihanna’s 2007 number one single “Take a Bow” and Beyoncé’s 2006 “Irreplaceable.” He’s prolific, popular, and pretty successful, but he’s still worried about the future of the songwriting industry.
“When I got started, and even before that, if you hustled hard enough and were talented enough you could make a living in the music industry as a songwriter,” NeYo told me in an email. “We’re approaching a time where that’s no longer true. Even though demand for music is greater than ever, it’s harder and harder for songwriters to make a living.”