Three questions with Ne-Yo

Atlanta singer/songwriter Ne-Yo admits he has been hit by the recession -- but it may not be quite what you think.

He has been hit by a recession of the hair line.

“Yes, my hair line is slowly creeping to the back of my neck, but I’m sexy anyway!” the singer declared Wednesday night.

From the time the lyrical “chosen one” popped up on the music scene about 10 years ago, Ne-Yo has managed to maintain a more-or-less innocent image, the boy next door known for his moves, penning hit after hit and dropping some memorable tunes of his own. Over the years, the 30-year-old Grammy-winner has even been called a “momma’s boy,” because of his polished manners and gentleman qualities. Of course, a close bond with dear ole mom might lend itself to the unshakable label as well.

But over the past several years, there have been signs that music’s lyrical darling is, indeed, growing up fast. From his arrest in 2008 for speeding and driving with an invalid license, to recently losing a lawsuit in which he failed to show at a New Year’s Eve gig in Seattle, there’s a pattern (including male pattern baldness) of Ne-Yo now finding himself smack dab in the middle of very adult situations.

We caught up with the singer for a brief chat at a private Buckhead party as part of his “Champagne Life” event series sponsored by Moet Rose.

Q: Let’s talk about this reported engagement and your child on the way.

Ne-Yo: Well, there is no engagement. I wish everybody would stop saying that. The baby is very healthy; we went to the doctor today. They say I should put January on my calendar because that's the time my baby should be here.

Q: Do you have a name picked out?

Ne-Yo: We like "Madeline." We're still searching around, but "Madeline" is what we agree on. There's no meaning behind the name; it's just an elegant name.

Q: What’s your reaction to the recent lawsuit involving your no-show in Seattle?

Ne-Yo: I've got no response to that. That's something legal that is going on right now so I can't speak on that this second, but as soon as everything is cleared up and I can speak on it, I will. (Note: It was reported on August 25 that Ne-Yo lost a $156,000 lawsuit, including $24,000 in punitive damages, brought on by a Maryland booking agent who claimed he lost quarter of a million dollars and received death threats from upsets patrons because of the no-show.)

Q: So how is this new collaboration with Beyonce coming?

Ne-Yo: (After a good chuckle) It's coming along nicely. I can't speak too much on it, but it's another direction for her, and she's carving out her own niche. In a minute nobody will be in Beyonce's lane. They really can't get in her lane now, but they really can't get in her lane after this album. (Note: Ne-Yo collaborated with Beyonce in 2006 for her "B'day" CD. He helped pen "Irreplaceable," which became one of Beyonce's biggest hits.)

Ne-Yo’s CD “Libra Scale” will be released in stores October 19.