Ne-Yo ditches his trademark hat to embrace self-love

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R&B star Ne-Yo finally decided to embraced his balding head this year (17) as part of his journey to self-love.

The Sexy Love hitmaker has rarely been photographed without his trademark hat since rising to fame in 2006, and it's a fashion accessory he has relied on for more than half of his life, because his hairline started to recede before he had even hit puberty.

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"My hat has been my crutch for a long time," he admitted on U.S. breakfast show Today. "My hair started thinning... when I was 11, 12, 13, and you know how mean school kids can be, so I was allowed to wear my cap in school because I got picked on so much.

"So after a while, it just kinda became part of my face, to where I felt naked without it."

However, after tying the knot with second wife Crystal Renay last year (16) and becoming a father for the third time, Ne-Yo decided it was time he quit using his vast collection of headgear to try and hide his hair loss, and the singer has since grown more comfortable showing off his bare head in public.

"I told myself 2017, it's about self-love, it's about confidence, it's about just living in who you are (sic) and loving it," he explained.

Ne-Yo's new sense of self-confidence comes five years after revealing he was teased about his disappearing hairline by his castmates while filming 2012 war movie Red Tails.

In the film, he played a member of the famous Tuskegee airmen and joined his co-stars for a bonding exercise at a military facility, where they each took it in turns to become the butt of jokes.

"We would just crack on each other," he told WENN at the time. "During the bootcamp there was no TV or cellphone, no iPod, so at night all we had was us in this itty-bitty room and we'd just sit up and talk about each other.

"We would make up movies based on whatever affliction that person had. Like, everybody knows my hairline is ridiculously comical so one of the films was Where Did My Hairline Go? starring Ne-Yo - and the whole room would crack up."

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