Singer Shaffer Chimere Smith, popularly known as Ne-Yo, turned 35 on October 18. But it wasn’t a particularly great week for the Grammy winner, with his grandmother passing away just a day before his birthday.

Smith posted a photo of his grandmother to his Instagram account two days ago, announcing the unfortunate loss. In the caption, he wrote to his 1.2 million followers, “I’m not posting this for likes, my [Instagram] is my direct link to my fans, the people that helped me become who I am. I love you for it. And when you love someone you share the smiles and the tears.” He went on to pay a sweet tribute to his “grammah,” saying that he was happy she was with God now and “making sweet potato pies for the Angels.” His supporters in return showed their love for the R&B singer and sent their prayers.

And to celebrate his 35th birthday, Ne-Yo shared a sweet video of his two children with ex-girlfriend Monyetta Shaw—four-year-old Madilyn Grace and Mason Evan—singing “Happy Birthday” to their dad. The clip began with them saying, “We love you, Daddy. Happy birthday,” after which they adorably broke into the song while pointing at the camera.


The day after his big day, Ne-Yo shared an image that of his fan accounts posted. The photo was a collage of several fans holding up individual letters that spelled out, “Happy Bday Ne-Yo. We love you,” along with a heart at the end. In his caption, Ne-Yo wrote, “I have the best fans in the world. Thank you @NEYOisourgentleman.” There’s no arguing with that one!

Ne-Yo, Instagram post, October 17, 2015.
Ne-Yo, Instagram post, October 18, 2015.
Ne-Yo, Instagram post, October 19, 2015.

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