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R&B star Ne-Yo has confirmed that he and girlfriend Monyetta Shaw are expecting their first child.

The singer and producer, who has been dating the actress since the start of the year, made the announcement in a magazine interview as part of the promotion for his latest album.

He told Ebony magazine: ‘I am 30 and I do have my first child on the way, and I’m very, very, very excited about that. It’s a New Year’s baby and I’m just in a really good place right now.’

The Miss Independent singer, whose latest abum, Libra Scale, is due out in September, flew back home to Atlanta from his promotional tour for his girlfriend’s first ultrasound.

The sex of the child is yet to be determined due to its position in the womb. Ne-Yo joked that the baby was ‘stubborn’ but ‘didn’t get that one from me!’

Prior to the announcement, he revealed that he had been thinking about fatherhood.

‘I’ve been thinking a lot about kids lately,’ he said, admitting that he was likely to be a protective parent.

‘When the first guy comes to my door asking for my daughter, I might end up going to jail. I just don’t know how I’ll handle that.’

It is a positive turn of events for the star, born Shaffer Chimere Smith, after ex-girlfriend Jessica White had a son in 2005, naming him Chimere after the singer’s middle name.

Though Ne-Yo had believed he was the father, he later discovered the child was not his. He is now in litigation with the child’s mother.

After discovering Chimere was not his, the singer said in a statement: ‘He’s known no other father but me since the day he was born, and though I did not make him, I am his father and he is my son, and that’s what it is.’

Yesterday his mother, Loraine Smith told Sister 2 Sister magazine that she was excited about becoming a grandmother.

‘She’s in her second trimester,’ she said. ‘We have embraced Monyetta and love her to death.’

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