Ne-Yo just dropped his first album in 4 years, and he says the hiatus is largely because COVID took a massive toll on his emotional state and creativity.
The R&B singer joined "TMZ Live" to talk all about his 8th studio album, titled "Self Explanatory" ... an album that was put on the back burner when the pandemic hit. Ne-Yo says music was not on his mind nearly as much as survival -- the survival of his family.
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He says even after quarantine was lifted, it took time getting the "funk" removed from his psyche.
The album does not reference COVID ... he says he has nothing new to offer since we all went through it. Ditto the Black Lives Matter movement ... he says it has been so well-documented that the album would not move the ball forward.
The album is much more about his personal life ... especially the ups and downs he experienced with his marriage. We get into all of that, and more, in the full interview, which airs on Monday's "TMZ Live."
Ne-Yo has been in an on-again, off-again marriage to his wife, Crystal Renay. You'll recall, the two got remarried in Vegas back in April ... nearly 2 years after she filed for divorce and then withdrew the petition.
All 13 songs on "Self Explanatory" are available now.