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Catholic high school cancels Ne-Yo concert

Students cry foul after principal nixes performance over sexy lyrics
/ Source: The Associated Press

A Catholic girls high school has canceled a concert by Ne-Yo because of sexually explicit lyrics on the R&B singer’s first recording.

Students at Mercy High School in suburban Detroit won the concert, which had been scheduled Wednesday afternoon, in a seat-belt use contest.

“Everyone was really excited. Everybody was singing his songs in the hallway,” said Siobahn Jones, a 15-year-old sophomore.

But Mercy High officials later reviewed the lyrics on Ne-Yo’s debut CD, “In My Own Words,” and decided they were objectionable.

“It’s unfair what they’re doing,” Alexandra Reeder, a 15-year-old ninth-grader told the Detroit Free Press.

“The bottom line is I have to make decisions based on what I think is going to be in line with what we are, what we teach, and how we’ve dialogued with students,” said Principal Carolyn Witte.

The contest was sponsored by WKQI-FM and Japanese seat belt and auto parts maker Takata Corp. For two weeks, students at Mercy High signed petitions promising to always use seat belts.

Takata executive Bob Kittle said arrangements were being made to reschedule the Ne-Yo concert with the contest’s runner-up school, which he did not identify.

“In My Own Words” was No. 5 on SoundScan’s ranking of R&B/hip-hop albums last week.