Ne-yo: 'Columbia Tried To Make Me Into Usher'
R+B star NE-YO has slammed his former record label Columbia for trying to turn him into an USHER clone. The SO SICK singer was originally signed to the US giant before he hit fame in 2005, but the relationship soured when record bosses wouldn't let him be himself. He says, "They were very much bent on making me their version of Usher or this guy or that guy - and it wasn't me. "It was me doing what they wanted me to do, which made for not a good album in my opinion." The Arkansas-born singer/songwriter, real name SHAFFER SMITH, is the latest in a long line of global superstars lost by Columbia to other labels. He says, "It's crazy, Columbia had ALICIA KEYS, 50 CENT and now me, so somebody's not doing their job over there." Since they parted ways Ne-Yo, 23, has since released platinum album IN MY OWN WORDS on rival label Def Jam.