For his sixth studio album, Non-Fiction (Motown, Jan. 27), Ne-Yo took a different approach. Instead of looking inward for the 19-track set, the 32-year-old singer-songwriter, who does double duty as Motown senior vp A&R, crowd-sourced love stories from fans through social media for inspiration. Though the concept album isn't entirely his own truth, he says his main goal was to create a narrative you can get lost in: "The one element of good storytelling is being able to take your listener on a ride."

 

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