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Ne-Yo visits Duke Ellington School of the Arts

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Ne-Yo, the Grammy Award winning R&B singer and songwriter, made a surprise visit to a Duke Ellington School of the Arts assembly this afternoon. Ne-Yo answered questions, accepted handshakes and hugs, and posed for pictures with the delighted student body. He even gave an impromptu acapella performance upon request from Duke Ellington Principal Rory Pullens.

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After the assembly, Ne-Yo dropped in on a few classrooms and spoke with the students about his path to success in the entertainment industry. He explained that his musical journey began in high school, and that he also attended a school of the arts - The Las Vegas Academy of the Arts. Ne-Yo emphasized the importance of giving back to the community, and he talked at length about his charitable organization, The Compound Foundation, that helps children in foster care.

Ne-Yo, who has collaborated with some of the biggest names in the music business (Rihanna, Kanye West, Mariah Carey, Jay-Z, Beyonce', Jennifer Hudson, etc.), said he's working on his sixth studio album. Later this evening, Ne-Yo will receive an award from the Washington, DC branch of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).

The Duke Ellington School of the Arts is a college preparatory arts high school where students specialize in dance, literary media and communications, instrumental and vocal music, theatre, technical design and production, and visual arts. Ellington boasts a graduation rate of 99% and a college acceptance rate of 95%.

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Duke Ellington students are presenting Mike Malone's Black Nativity, a holiday gospel play by Langston Hughes, through December 15th. Tickets can be purchased at: www.ellingtonarts.org.

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