R&B singer/songwriter Ne-Yo, at the tender age of 32, was inducted Thursday into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in New York City.

The institution recognizes those in the industry who are “pioneers in their craft” and have “inspired the music community.”

Ne-Yo, born Shaffer Chimere Smith, Jr., picked up the Hal David Starlight Award for young songwriters, and thanked his musician mother for helping him develop his talents.

“I was a pretty riled up little kid,” he said. “If not for my mom giving me the pad and the pen and telling me to take my emotions and put them there, there’s no telling. I might have been sticking you up or something.”

Fleetwood Mac star Stevie Nicks was on hand to present Bette Midler with the Sammy Cahn Lifetime Achievement Award.

Also among the 2012 inductees were Bob Seger, folk rocker Gordon Lightfoot, country lyricist Don Schlitz, Bat Out of Hell composer Jim Steinman, and the team behind The Fantasticks musical – Harvey Schmidt and Tom Jones.


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