February 10, 2011 02:59:12 GMT
Losing the teen sensation to Usher, the R 'n' B singer imagined that he would make the same success for Bieber.
R&B star Ne-Yo regrets passing up the opportunity to sign Justin Bieber, after seeing the teen sensation's rapid rise to fame. The "Closer" hitmaker was offered the chance to mentor the Baby hitmaker in the mid 2000s but turned his back on the deal because he "didn't know what music to make with an 11-year old boy".
The 16 year old subsequently signed with Usher's company before landing a recording contract with Island Records, and he still looks to the "Yeah!" hitmaker for guidance in his stellar career. And Ne-Yo admits seeing Bieber's phenomenal success has made him sad he didn't sign him.
He tells MTV U.K., "Absolutely... I absolutely regret not signing him. He is hugely talented. If I had signed him, it probably would have worked out the same as Justin is hugely talented and deserves the success."
However, despite the snub Ne-Yo is still working on new music for the teen superstar: "I am writing for Justin but I'm finding it kinda hard as it's a long time since I was 16 years old. At the moment, I'm just playing around with a few ideas for him."