Ne-Yo has released his first song for 2021, a track called What If that has the star reminiscing over a past love and what could have been.
The “Sexy Love” hitmaker, real name Shaffer Chimere Smith – who shares Shaffer Jr., five, Roman, three, and Isabella, four months, with spouse Crystal Renay – admits having to isolate at home with his family forced he and his wife to confront their issues and “re-connect” with their children.
“The pandemic saved my marriage. We were talking full-on divorce. It forced us to sit down and talk about our problems and re-connect with our kids. There’s only so much FaceTime you can do,” he told “Good Morning Britain”.
“In the pandemic, we lost a lot of people, but in my case it helped a lot of instances in my life. We had brutally honest conversations.”
Ne-Yo also had to have a chat with his wife about his new single, “What If” – which is about a past love and how things could have been different – but admitted she wasn’t impressed with his explanation about the lyrics.
“What If is a conversation starter, it’s about a relationship and what could have happened if you did what you were supposed to.”
He had to assure Crystal he wasn’t writing about himself.
“(I said), ‘Babe this is not about me, I write about other people’s situations too.’ ”
But Ne-Yo’s reassurance didn’t work and the “So Sick” singer – who also has kids Mason, 10, and Madilyn, 10, from previous relationships – shared that Crystal answered, “Hmm, you’re on the couch tonight.”
Having the tough conversations worked out for the best, though.
“We’re actually stronger now than we were before,” he added. “Now we feel like we can really talk to each other.”
“I don’t know when it happened, but we got to a place where we felt like we couldn’t just say it, you know. You’re feeling something – something’s going on, and you know something’s going on, but for whatever reason, you can’t just come out and say it.”
“We got to that place, and that almost broke us.”
Glad things turned around for Ne-Yo and Crystal.