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Ne-Yo: Rihanna "Says She's Fine," Chris Brown "Still My Homeboy"

February 24, 2009 12:04 PM ET

R&B singer-songwriter Ne-Yo said he has spoken to Rihanna following her alleged assault by boyfriend Chris Brown. Ne-Yo tells MTV that the "Umbrella" singer told him she was "fine" and he hopes to talk with Brown in the near future regarding the situation.

"I wanted to talk to them before I made a comment," Ne-Yo said. "I spoke to Rihanna. She says she's fine. She didn't go into detail about what happened. I understand it's a painful situation; I didn't push." Ne-Yo has ties to both artists, having helped helped co-write Rihanna's hits "Unfaithful," "Take A Bow" and their duet "Hate That I Love You," as well as Brown's "So Glad."

"I saw the picture," Ne-Yo said of the leaked photograph of a battered Rihanna. "That just really hurt me to my heart, man. Again, I still don't know what happened, 'cause I haven't had the opportunity to talk to Chris yet. But to take it to that level really hurt my heart. All I can say is, I'm praying for both of them. They're both in my prayers."

While Wrigley's Gum and numerous radio stations have been quick to part ways with Brown, Ne-Yo isn't as anxious to turn his back on an old friend. "I'm not going to crucify him. I'm not going to do that. That's still my homeboy at the end of the day," Ne-Yo said. "For it to go to that level was wrong. I won't say who was responsible. I won't pick no sides. I'm just saying it was wrong it had to happen like that, and I'm praying for the both of them."

Chris Brown offered a vague apology in a statement early last week. Rihanna broke her silence last Friday to tell fans she was "doing well."

Related Stories:

Rihanna Breaks Silence, Assures Fans She's "Doing Well" Via Reps
Shocking Photo of Rihanna's "Horrific" Facial Injuries Leaks
Chris Brown Says He Is "Sorry and Saddened" Over Rihanna Incident in First Statement

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Song Stories

“Bird on a Wire”

Leonard Cohen | 1969

While living on the Greek island of Hydra, Cohen was battling a lingering depression when his girlfriend handed him a guitar and suggested he play something. After spotting a bird on a telephone wire, Cohen wrote this prayer-like song of guilt. First recorded by Judy Collins, it would be performed numerous times by artists incuding Johnny Cash, Joe Cocker and Rita Coolidge. "I'm always knocked out when I hear my songs covered or used in some situation," Cohen told Rolling Stone. "I've never gotten over the fact that people out there like my music."

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