“The first thing I said to her was that ‘I am aware that you are a beautiful woman, that you are smart, that you are driven and I’m aware that I can handle all of this [fame] stuff,’” the “So Sick” crooner recalled to Essence in October 2020. “I need to know that I can handle all the stuff that I’m not aware of. I need to know every reason that a man has ever left you or anything that you feel like a man will leave you for. I need your track record. I need it all right here, right now.”
He continued: “She laid out her dirty laundry, I laid out my dirty laundry [and] after this very uncomfortable conversation, the air in the room got lighter so to speak, and we didn’t feel like we had to work as hard to impress each other. After that conversation, I had a laundry list of dos and don’ts in regard to being in a relationship with her and I took that list and turned it into a song and that song is ‘Good Man.’”
Less than one year after their first date, the pair announced they were expecting their first child and were engaged.
“Clearing the air..@mscrystalrenay and I are ENGAGED to be married next year. And yes we are expecting. #FromTheHorsesMouth,” the Arkansas native tweeted in August 2015 before sharing the model’s maternity photos on his Instagram.
The pair wed in February 2016, one month before son Shaffer’s birth. As Ne-Yo — real name Shaffer Chimere Smith — and Renay’s romance continued to heat up, they eventually welcomed a second son, Roman, in June 2018.
However after four years of marriage, the former World of Dance judge and Renay announced their separation.
“It’s slowly but surely becoming public knowledge that myself and my wife have decided to go ahead and get a divorce,” Ne-Yo — who also shares two children with ex-fiancée Monyetta Shaw — said on the “Private Talk With Alexis Texas” podcast in February 2020. “It’s not a sad thing, it’s more of us realizing that — long story short, I’m never gonna talk bad about her. I’m not that person. There’s nothing bad to say about her. She’s a fantastic woman. She’s the mother of my children and she’s always gonna be that and I will always respect her.”
The “Miss Independent” performer and Renay eventually reconciled, welcoming daughter Isabella in June 2021, before renewing their vows in April 2022.
Ne-Yo’s relationship status made headlines that July after his spouse alleged he continually cheated on her “with numerous women who sell their bodies to him unprotected.”
The musician, for his part, issued a statement shortly after Renay claimed she was done with her husband’s antics.
“For the sake of our children, my family and I will work through our challenges behind closed doors,” Ne-Yo tweeted at the time. “Personal matters are not meant to be addressed and dissected in public forums. I simply ask that you please respect me and my family’s privacy at this time.”
Scroll below for the pair’s complete relationship timeline: