Just before the 2020 quarantine, Ne-Yo and his wife, Crystal Smith, were on the brink of divorce. The In My Own Words crooner filed for divorce in February 2020 after four years of marriage and confirmed the separation on the Private Talk With Alexis Texas podcast where he shared, “We realize that our demons don’t mesh and until both of us get a hold of our personal demons, it’s gonna be just difficult for us to stay married.”
Yet by June 2020, the couple had reconciled and a year after the news of the impending divorce, they announced they were expecting a daughter.
Ahead of him hosting this year’s Urban One Honors on TV One, the father of five spoke candidly on how the pandemic brought him and his wife closer in a recent interview with Essence.
“What the quarantine did was kind of force us to sit down and have these really uncomfortable discussions that we, honestly, would not have had otherwise,” explained Ne-Yo. “We would’ve never had the patience to sit in each other’s face and really just talk about what we don’t like about each other. If I’ve got an excuse to be gone, I’m gone.”
He later revealed, “[The quarantine] made us face the conflict head on and what that did is basically strengthen us because now, I don’t have to pull punches when I talk to you. You know exactly where I stand. I know exactly where you stand and through that we’ve decided to keep going and it’s a more genuine feel to what it is we’re doing now. It’s still a learning process, of course.”
The Smiths welcomed their fifth and final child, Isabella Rose in June 2021. He joked that she was “definitely a quarantine baby.”
The 42-year-old’s latest single, “Stay Down” featuring rising star, Yung Bleu, showcases Crystal as the video’s leading lady. “I figured that just made perfect sense because the song is, in essence, in part about her. The song is about the multiple people in my life that I know are going to stay down with me,” he explained. “That becomes very, very important at a certain point in your career and at a certain age. If I never sold another record. If I never made another dollar, who would still be here?”
Watch the video for “Stay Down” below.