BET Hip Hop Awards 2014 Presented by Sprite - Arrivals

Ne-Yo in 2014, photo by Prphotos

Birth Name: Shaffer Chimere Smith

Place of Birth: Camden, Arkansas, U.S.

Date of Birth: October 18, 1979

Ethnicity: African-American

Ne-Yo is an American R&B singer, songwriter, actor, dancer, and record producer. He is also known as Gogo.

Ne-Yo is the son of Loraine and Wiley L. Smith, who were musicians. His parents are both black. He was raised partly in Las Vegas, Nevada. He is married to Crystal Renay Williams. Ne-Yo has seven children, including two with his former partner Monyetta Shaw; and three with Crystal.

A 23andMe DNA test whose results Ne-Yo displayed on his Twitter page stated that his genetic ancestry is:

*88.4% Sub-Saharan African
——–*87.3% West African
——–*0.8% Broadly Sub-Saharan African
——–*0.3% African Hunter-Gatherer
*10.1% European
——–*4.0% Broadly Northwestern European
——–*3.7% British & Irish
——–*1.2% French & German
——–*1.1% Broadly European
——–*0.1% Iberian
——–*0.1% Scandinavian
——–*0.1% Broadly Southern European
*0.4% East Asian & Native American
——–*0.4% Southeast Asian

Ne-Yo has sometimes stated that he has some degree of Chinese ancestry on his father’s side. Given his DNA test results, it is unlikely that he has any Chinese ancestry in at least the last 200 years.

Ne-Yo’s maternal grandfather’s surname is Parham. Ne-Yo’s grandfather’s brother, Bobby Parham, is a member of the band The Dramatic Force.

Ne-Yo’s maternal grandmother was named Rosie M.

Ne-Yo in 2008, photo by Adam J. Sablich /


Curious about ethnicity

178 Responses

  1. real says:

    It wouldn’t be 200. Years. That’s not how dna works. More so like 150-175. Anything beyond 200 years would NOT show on DNA.

  2. stlucas says:

    Ne-Yo’s 23andMe test results:

    88.4% Sub-Saharan African
    — 87.3% West African
    — 0.3% African Hunter-Gatherer
    — 0.8% Broadly Sub-Saharan African

    10.1% European
    — 3.7% British & Irish
    — 1.2% French & German
    — 0.1% Iberian
    — 0.1% Scandinavian
    — 4.0% Broadly Northwestern European
    — 0.1% Broadly Southern European
    — 1.1% Broadly European

    0.6% East Asian & Native American
    — 0.4% Southeast Asian


    • Oaken05 says:

      Interesting. Yeawh, the trace Southeast Asian that shows up for some African Americans in both 23andMe and Ancestry is usually given to the relatively rare Malagasy slave that got shipped to the United States.

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