Ne-Yo's musical career has been a rocket ride. Next on the horizon, another opportunity to test his wings as an actor.
The three-time Grammy winner from Las Vegas has signed up to join the cast being assembled by "Star Wars" creator George Lucas, who is producing "Red Tails," a WWII movie about the legendary Tuskegee Airmen.
Ne-Yo, who has already written songs for Whitney Houston, Celine Dion and Enrique Iglesias, will co-star with Oscar winner Cuba Gooding Jr. and Oscar nominee Terence Howard as the famed African-American fighter pilots.
The 29-year-old R&B singer-producer, who was born in Arkansas and raised in Las Vegas as Shaffer Smith, was nominated for six Grammys in 2009 and won two for his hit single "Miss Independent." He won his first in 2008, taking home Best Contemporary R&B Album for "Because of You."
Lucas, who will be the executive producer with Anthony Hemingway making his film-directing debut, told the Hollywood Reporter last week, "I've been wanting to do 'Red Tails' for 20 years, and we've finally got the means to showcase the skill of the Tuskegee pilots. We're working on techniques which will give us the first true look at the aerial dogfighting of the era."
It would be Ne-Yo's fourth film as an actor.
His debut came in "Save the Last Dance 2" in 2006, and he appeared in "Stomp the Yard" in 2007.
In his next film, "Venice Beach," he will star and executive produce and write the soundtrack.
He launches a six-city UK tour on July 11 at London's 02 Arena, site of Michael Jackson's comeback on July 8. Ne-Yo has been writing songs for Jackson.
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