September 19, 2011 04:00 PM

Gregory Pace/BEImages

Another baby on the way for Ne-Yo — he and Monyetta Shaw are expecting their second child together this fall.

“[Fatherhood] has been a ride, but I’m loving every minute of it,” says the singer-songwriter, 31, who’s already dad to daughter Madilyn Grace, 10 months.

In his hit song “Miss Independent,” Ne-Yo makes it clear that a woman must be able to stand on her own, so it only makes sense that his little girl would be her own person.

“[Maddie]’s been trying to walk since she was two months old,” he tells PEOPLE at his annual Compound Foundation benefit, held Wednesday in Denise Rich’s Manhattan home.

“She’ll grab your hands and pull herself up and do a little wobble dance. She likes scooting along the wall. She moves really fast.”

Independence doesn’t come without a cost, however.

“She definitely knows her worth — which is a beautiful thing. That’s something I’ve tried to instill in her from day one: understand that you are a Godsend,” explains Ne-Yo. “You’re an absolute angel and people are supposed to treat you that way. She’s extremely diva even at 10 months.”

What are Maddie’s diva traits? “She’s a growler right now,” he says. “She’ll only let you hold her a certain way.”

And although she loves his music, the R&B crooner admits he takes a back seat when it comes to Disney’s main man.

“Daddy loses out to Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. She loves the ‘Hot Dog!’ song [by They Might Be Giants]. She knows two words: ‘Dada’ and ‘hot dog.’”

— Carlos Greer

You May Like