Ne-Yo had his family on his mind when he won Season 10 of "The Masked Singer."
The 44-year-old singer competed as the Cow during the singing competition show, taking home the Golden Mask trophy. He dedicated his win to his mother and his seven children — joking with "Masked Singer" host Nick Cannon about the number of children they have combined.
"I grew up in a house full of women, my mother, my sister, my grandmother, five aunts and me 'til I was, like, 16. I couldn't tell you what the color of the walls in the bathroom was because I never got in there," he joked. "But what I learned in that house is the strength of a woman. I'm talking physical and mental. I learned how to be a listener. I learned how to not be afraid of emotion. I learned how to stand on my own. So I learned these things from these women."
He added that his mother has been his rock his entire life, and still is to this day. Ne-Yo, whose real name is Shaffer Smith, concluded by saying that his latest trophy is for his kids.
"I had no kids when I first won a Grammy, so I'm gonna say shout-out to Madilyn, Mason, SJ, Roman, Izzy, Braiden and Brixton," the singer said, before telling Cannon, "I ain't got as many as you but I'm getting close."
Cannon laughed and replied, "Combined, we got a couple dozen."
Who are Ne-Yo's 7 kids?
The win comes months after he shared a rare look into his life as a father of seven children. On July 7, the musician uploaded a carousel of photos to Instagram that showed him bonding with his kids.
In the first photo, Ne-Yo holds 2-year-old daughter Isabella Rose as she sweetly grasps her dad’s finger.
The second and third photos show his oldest child, 13-year-old daughter Madilyn, standing beside Isabella Rose and their father.
Three of the “Because of You” singer’s sons make an appearance on the third slide. Mason, 12, and Shaffer Chimere Jr. “SJ”, 8, sit on top of a counter and eat some chips as they pose for a photo. Meanwhile, a distracted Roman, 5, has his back to the camera as he reaches for Mason’s hand.
All seven children gather together in the final two photos for a cute family picture. The proud dad holds 9-month-old son Brixton and daughter Isabella Rose while seated next to Madilyn, Roman, Braiden, 2, SJ and Mason.
In the final picture, Ne-Yo and a few of his children show off their goofy sides by making silly faces. Some of the younger siblings seem slightly distracted by something off camera.
“I’m a FATHER before I’m anything else,” Ne-Yo began in the caption. “Not money, not fame, not even the love of the craft. I do this for THEM.”
He continued to express how much his children mean to him.
“THEY are my reason. I’m nowhere near perfect and that’s ok. My kids love me,” he said.
The “So Sick” singer added that he would “die, kill, steal, whatever” to make sure his children have everything they need.
“The best thing I’ve ever done,” Ne-Yo gushed. “I LOVE MY TRIBE!! I LOVE MY SQUAD!! AND I WILL FOR ALL OF THIS LIFE AND THE NEXT…AND THE NEXT!”
At the end of the post, he included all his children’s names and added the hashtag #DaddyLovesYou.
Some fans in the comments praised the R&B artist for being a devoted father.
“This is beautiful,” one said. “Great to see (a) man stepping up and being a father.”
But, plenty of Instagram users called Ne-Yo out for his recent cheating allegations that made headlines.
“8 years of lies and deception. 8 years of unknowingly sharing my life and husband with numerous women who sell their bodies to him unprotected...every last one of them!” she wrote in a now-deleted post.
Renay Smith said that they had “3 beautiful children together,” but added their relationship resulted in “nothing else but wasted years and heartbreak.”
Ne-Yo responded to her allegations on Twitter, writing, “For the sake of our children, my family and I will work through our challenges behind closed doors. 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.”
Renay Smith filed for divorce in August 2022 and claimed that Ne-Yo had “recently fathered a minor child with his paramour,” according to documents obtained by TODAY.com.
Their separation was finalized in February, according to People.
The former couple share SJ, Roman and Isabella Rose together.