Amerie Mi Marie Rogers, known professionally as Amerie, is a two time Grammy nominated American singer, songwriter, producer and actress. Rogers was born in Fitchburg, Massachusetts in 1980 to an African-American father and a Korean mother.
As a youth, Amerie gained an appreciation of the classical arts (from her mother) and of music (from her father), and she also studied dance from an early age and performed in talent contests. After her high-school graduation, her family settled down in Virginia while she began to attend Georgetown University, from which she graduated with a degree in English and Fine Arts & Design.
While living in Washington, D.C., she met producer Rich Harrison, who worked with such performers as Mary J. Blige, and began developing demos with him. This led to a deal with Rise Entertainment and, in turn, Columbia Records. In the spring of 2002, Rise/Columbia released Amerie’s debut single, “Why Don’t We Fall in Love.” The single reached number twenty-three on the Billboard Hot 100 and became a top ten hit on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs. The song created a nice buzz for her album All I Have, which was certified gold by the RIAA. The second and final single to be released was “Talkin’ To Me,” a moderate hit peaking at number eighteen on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs.
In 2003, Amerie covered the song “I’m Coming Out” by Diana Ross for the soundtrack to the film, Maid in Manhattan and was also featured on LL Cool J’s “Paradise,” which peaked at number fourteen on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs. Amerie also spent some time as the host and developer of a brand-new show on BET called The Center. Amerie landed her first acting role as Mia Thompson in the 2004 romantic comedy First Daughter alongside Katie Holmes, Michael Keaton, Lela Rochon, and Marc Blucas. Directed By Oscar winner Forrest Whitaker.
On April 26, 2005, Amerie released her second album, Touch. As with All I Have, 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 on her first album, Amerie co-wrote every track but one, “Come with Me”, which Harrison wrote. Touch debuted and peaked at number five on the Billboard 200 and number three on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums, and it was certifed gold by the RIAA in August that year. It received two Grammy Award nominations in 2006: Best Female R&B Vocal Performance for its lead single, “1 Thing”, and Best Contemporary R&B Album.
Along with Touch, Amerie’s biggest hit came with “1 Thing”, which 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!‘s theme song?retitled “Oh, Calcutta!” by funk group The Meters. The song was later certified platinum for selling over 200,000 units in downloads and became Amerie’s 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 Singles & Tracks. “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.