Amerie was born in Fitchburg, Massachusetts to an African-American father and a South Korean mother. Her father was in the United States military, so Amerie traveled to and lived in many different places, including Alaska, Texas, Germany, and South Korea. She has a younger sister, Angela Rogers, who is now her lawyer. She finally settled in Washington, D.C., which she considers her hometown.
She graduated from Georgetown University in 2000 with a degree in English and Fine Arts.
Amerie's first language is Korean. However, after the family left Seoul, where they had lived for several years, Amerie's mother made a conscious effort to limit the use of Korean with her daughters out of fear that it would impede their development of English proficiency. In an interview with KoreAm Journal, Amerie stated that she is now only "conversational" in the Korean language and speaks it at home with her mother, Angela, and extended Korean family members.2
Amerie also bears a tattoo featuring her given name in Korean script on her lower back, which can be seen in the music video for "1 Thing". The tattoo does not directly translate to Amerie, but "Emeuri" (에므리) while the Korean media pronounces her name "Eimeori" (에이머리) however. Amerie is noted for signing her name in both English and Korean when giving autographs.
2002: All I have: 723,000 (Gold)
2005: Touch: 500,000 (Gold)
2007: Because I love It: TBA
Comapred to Cassie and Aaliyah. was a fan of Aaliyah.
Amerie received her big break in 2001 when she was featured on a track from rapper Nas' fifth studio album Stillmatic entitled "Rule". Throughout early 2002, Amerie's single, "Why Don't We Fall in Love", from her debut album All I Have, received much urban radio airplay. Producer Rich Harrison wrote and produced All I Have in its entirety, except for the track "Outro", which Amerie co-wrote. Amerie's album was released amid the success of "Why Don't We Fall in Love", and the media immediately began to judge her success against those of other recent female R&B artists such as Tweet and Ashanti.
The album's next single, "Talkin' to Me", did not hit nearly as big at urban radio, yet its video still enjoyed strong support from MTV2. VH1 Soul has been known to play both of Amerie's videos with regularity since their debuts, and MTV Jams still occasionally spins "Why Don't We Fall in Love". The album was surprisingly a success, going Gold with 723,000 units sold in America.
Touch (2005)On April 26, 2005, Amerie released her sophomore album, Touch. Once again, the album was primarily produced by mentor Rich Harrison, who contributed seven (new) tracks to the record; additional productions came from Lil Jon, Bryce Wilson, Red Spyda, and Dre & Vidal. Unlike her first album, Amerie co-wrote every track except "Come with Me", which Rich Harrison wrote. It debuted and peaked at number five on the Billboard 200 and number three on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums. The album was certifed Gold by the RIAA in August of that year. The album received two Grammy Award nominations in 2006: "Best Female R&B Vocal Performance" for "1 Thing" and "Best Contemporary R&B Album".
Along with Touch, Amerie's biggest hit came with the first single "1 Thing". The track was also featured on the soundtrack to Hitch, a romantic comedy film starring Will Smith and Eva Mendes. Producer Rich Harrison sampled the distinctive main drum-and-guitar loops of the song from a 1970 version of "Oh! Calcutta!" by funk group The Meters. The song was later certified Platinum (200,000+ downloads) and became her first top ten hit in the U.S., where it peaked at number eight on the Billboard Hot 100 and number one on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs. "1 Thing" also earned several awards and nominations: two nominations for the MTV Video Music Awards — "Best Female Video" and "Best Choreography" — and four nominations for the Soul Train Lady of Soul Awards — "Best R&B/Soul Single, Solo", "R&B/Soul or Rap Song of the Year", "Best R&B/Soul or Rap Music Video", and "Best R&B/Soul or Rap Dance Cut". At the 2005 VIBE Awards, Amerie took home "Club Banger of the Year" for her hit. "1 Thing" also spawned into a variety of remixes by rappers such as Eve, Fabolous, and Jay-Z.
In the fall of 2005, Amerie went on with the second single "Touch" and "I Don't Care", the lead single of Ricky Martin's album Life in collaboration with Fat Joe. While latter one was able to enter the top twenty in several European countries and Australia, the album's title track failed to reprise the success of "1 Thing". It didn't even enter the Billboard Hot 100, though peaking at number nineteen on the UK Singles Chart. "Talkin' About" was planned to be released as a third single but wasn't.
Because I Love It
Main article: Because I Love It
Currently, Amerie is completing her third album, Because I Love It. She stated in an interview with VIBE magazine that the album was originally to be titled None of the Above. This will be her first album that will not feature production from her long-time collaborator, friend, and producer Rich Harrison. Other producers have been brought in to work with Amerie, such as Bryan Michael Cox, The Buchanans, Tim & Bob, and DJ Premier, to name a few. The album is set to be released in the summer of 2007. Tracks that have leaked to the Internet are "Some Like It", "Take Control", "That's What You Are", "Paint Me Over", and "When Loving You Was Easy". "Take Control", which was produced by Amerie herself, her manager Len Nicholson, and Cee-Lo from Gnarls Barkley, is the first single from her upcoming album. The video for "Take Control" was released online on December 4 and will be aired to the television stations in the third week of January.
In early December 2006, there were news that South Korean singer Se7en would collaborate with Amerie on her album. It is yet unknown which song Se7en will appear on. She has stated several times in interviews that she has been very eager to work with Korean pop/R&B singers, since being a fan of K-pop herself. New rumors have already started saying that Se7en's vocals will be featured on a re-worked version of her current single, "Take Control"; the song would be viewed as a remix. Amerie has been a fan of Se7en's since seeing him perform in Asia, and she is also a big fan of Rain. The release of Because I Love It made the Blender magazine's list of 25 Reasons to Love '07, ranking at nineteenth.
Because I Love It Vol. 1 and Vol. 2
Amerie stated that she plans to release two mixtape albums before releasing the final cut of her album, Because I Love It, in the spring of 2007. Vol. 1 was released and available for listen via her official MySpace page in the autumn of 2006. The second mixtape, Vol. 2, is set for release in the spring of 2007, followed by the release of her official album. Both mixtapes feature about fifteen or more tracks from the artist. It is said that Amerie will select the most popular tracks for the final cut, maybe adding a couple more songs. The other songs are rumored to be used as bonus tracks for singles outside the U.S.