The R&B star - who recently became the Senior Vice President of A&R at Motown Records - insists that most artists don't stand the test of time like the Motown greats.
"Who was the last real icon to come out of the music industry?" Ne-Yo asked the Daily Star.
"Everybody thought it was going to be Lady GaGa, but where is she right now, what's going on with her?
"Not to take anything away from her because she's ridiculously talented, but artists who stand the test of time - you just don't see those any more."
He added: "Motown wants to breathe fresh air into R&B, but Motown was not always cutting-edge, it was soulful but good pop music too.
"They were always at the top of the charts in the '60s, and today the lines are getting blurred again with R&B artists doing dance and pop acts doing R&B.
"I feel now it's just about good music again. Motown needs to stand for quality music, period."
Ne-Yo will release his new album R.E.D. in the UK on November 5.