Ne-Yo is preparing to drop his eighth studio album, titled Self-Explanatory, on July 15, four years after Good Man. The three-time Grammy winner says a major reason his new project was delayed was the pandemic.

“I wasn’t inspired at all, no,” he tells Haute Living magazine. “I gained a little weight, weight that I’m still blaming on the quarantine and still trying to get off. I was three years vegan when COVID started, but I had to let go of that because I was like, ‘Listen, if I’m going to die tomorrow, I’m going to have a burger. Sorry, but leave me alone.’”

“I wasn’t inspired to write because I was just terrified,” Ne-Yo continues. “What’s going to happen to me, to my kids? I was in a dark place.”

The singer/composer/producer also says his six-year marriage was in trouble.

“My wife, Crystal Williams, and I weren’t in the best place, either,” Ne-Yo confides.

The “Sexy Love” singer says the pandemic caused them to confront and solve their differences. “We were forced to sit in each other’s faces and talk about things we wouldn’t have talked about otherwise, and really and truly figure out a way to navigate ourselves back to what it is we wanted to be together as a couple,” the 42-year-old entertainer says.

Ne-Yo is celebrating the Independence Day weekend by hosting a party Saturday for the Essence Festival in New Orleans, then performing Sunday at Drai’s Nightclub in Las Vegas.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.