Page last updated at 10:01 GMT, Wednesday, 3 September 2008 11:01 UK

Ne-Yo gets damages for Kelly tour

Ne-Yo's hits include Closer, So Sick and Because Of You

R&B singer Ne-Yo has been awarded $700,320 (395,580) after he was dropped from a tour with R Kelly.

The Closer singer claimed he was fired as Kelly's opening act last November because fans and critics preferred him - an allegation his co-star denied.

In January, Ne-Yo sued tour promoter Georgia-based Rowe Entertainment Inc.

The company never responded to the case. Last week, a Los Angeles Superior Court judge ordered them to pay Ne-Yo and his touring company damages.

Ne-Yo, whose real name is Shaffer Chimere Smith, exited the tour after just one week.

At the time, Rowe Entertainment released a statement saying they had decided to drop the performer because they could not obtain a full contract from his agent.

"From a business perspective, it would have been extremely difficult for me to continue under this cloud of uncertainty," said the company's president, Leonard Rowe.

The company was not available to comment on Judge Malcolm Mackey's decision to award Ne-Yo damages.

The singer currently has two singles in the UK top 40 and releases his third album, Year Of The Gentleman, on 15 September.

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