Ne-Yo has been writing songs since the age of 10.

The 'Sexy Love' singer has composed songs since he was a child but admits he did not have the confidence to let anyone other than family hear his music.

The star, now 30, exclusively told BANG Showbiz: ''I started writing songs really early, round about ten years old. I would take the poems I would write for girls that I liked but wasn't brave enough to give them, and I would take those poems and put them to a melody and they became songs.''

It was after high school Ne-Yo realised he did not want to be ''one of the crowd'' but to follow his own path.

He added: ''All through high school I was a guy that wanted to be part of the cool crowd, but I realised that the majority of the cool crowd were just following one specific person, and it would only teach me to be a follower.

''So that was a wake up call for me, like I'm not going to follow these people for no reason, I'm not going to spend money on a pair of jeans when I don't have it just to impress you. It was more cool to be me and just do what I wanted. And as soon as I realised that I grew the confidence I needed.''

In celebration of MasterCard's 15th year as partner of The BRIT Awards, Ne-Yo is giving music fans the chance to join him on his forthcoming tour. Enter the competition at