Amerie Rogers was born to Korean mother, artist Mi Suk , and African American father, Charles . A few months after she was born, the Rogers family moved to her mother’s native Korea, where Amerie lived for three years. Her father, Charles, was a chief warrant officer , so Amerie traveled to and lived in many different places, including South Korea, Alaska, Texas, Virginia, and Germany. He now works for the U.S. Intelligence Division United States military. She has a younger sister, Angela , who is now her lawyer. She finally settled in Arlington, VA.
Amerie describes her parents as conservative, protective, traditional Christians. Growing up, she and her sister were forbidden to leave the house or use the phone on school days. Amerie enrolled at Georgetown University to study literature, and was in Navy ROTC: “I was in the Navy ROTC. My dad didn’t force me into it or anything. I joined so I could afford an education.” She quit ROTC after her sophomore year, and graduated with a BA degree in English and Fine Arts minor in design.
Amerie's first language is Korean; however, after the family left Korea, 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 .
2002–05: All I Have and Touch
While studying at Georgetown, she befriended a Washington D.C. club promoter who eventually put her in touch with producer Rich Harrison . Rich Harrison--who had just worked on Mary J. Blige's recent albums Mary (album) and No More Drama--began making/developing demos with Amerie. This led to Amerie's first record deal with Rise Entertainment in collaboration with 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. She was featured on LL Cool J's "Paradise," which peaked at number fourteen on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs. She was also featured on DJ Kayslay's "Too Much For Me"; on his May 2003 album Streetsweeper Vol. 1. Amerie appeared on Bow Wow's third album Unleashed singing the hook on "To My Mama". She was also featured on the Honey (soundtrack) soundtrack to the Jessica Alba dance movie Honey (2003 film) in the Rodney Jerkins produced hit "When I Think Of You".
On April 26, 2005, Amerie released her second album, Touch. As with All I Have, the album was co-written and 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 certified 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 300,000 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. In 2009, "1 Thing" placed at number 6 on The Root's list of Top 10 Hip-Hop/R&B Songs of the 2000s.
In late 2005, Amerie released Touch's second single, "Touch", and was featured alongside Fat Joe on "I Don't Care", the lead single of Ricky Martin's album Life. Though the latter one entered the top twenty in several European countries and Australia, Touch's title track failed to reprise the success of "1 Thing"—it did not enter the Billboard Hot 100 (it peaked at number ninety-five on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks chart), and reached number nineteen on the UK Singles Chart. "Talkin' About", the third single, was released only for promo.
2006–07: Because I Love It
Amerie's third album, Because I Love It, was her first album not to feature writing and production from her long-time collaborator, friend, and producer Rich Harrison. Other producers—such as Bryan-Michael Cox, The Buchanans, Len Nicholson; were enlisted to work with Amerie. "Take Control", which was co-produced by Mike Caren, Amerie and Nicholson and co-written by Amerie and Cee-Lo Green, was the first single from the album and was released in the U.S. in late 2006. It failed to chart on the Hot 100, reaching the lower half of the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs Chart. Though, the single gave Amerie her second Top 10 hit in the UK.
Because I Love It was released in Europe in May 2007 and was scheduled to be released in the U.S. in 2007 (the release of the album made the Blender magazine list of "25 Reasons to Love '07", ranking nineteenth), but its release date was pushed back numerous times due to the ever changing climate at Sony music with Rick Rubin coming in. Amerie and her management team held Sony from releasing her LP domestically; it is available only as an import and through a limited release of the album in U.S. Wal-Mart stores. Allmusic described the album as "enthuastic", "unwavering", and being able to "lasso each song, whether it requires salt, sugar, heartache, delight, or any combination thereof" .
In early 2007, it was reported that Korean pop sensation Se7en would collaborate with Amerie on the album . She has stated several times in interviews that she has been very eager to work with Korean pop/R&B singers, being a fan of K-pop herself. It was later reported that the re-worked version of "Take Control" would be featured on the Asian editions of the album Because I Love It. A limited amount of promotional albums that were released in Japan and Korea in late April include the remix featuring Se7en. There was also talk of Amerie releasing a remix of "Crush" as the album's third single. But an official release never came through.
In late 2007, Amerie accepted an offer to appear in advertisement celebrating the 10th anniversary of the world's second largest cable provider, AXN as they had previously bought the rights to her single Gotta Work for an estimated £800,000 for usage in their ad campaign. She was paid an additional £400,000 for actually appearing in the commercial which was broadcast to just under a billion viewers across Asia (Brunei, Hong Kong, People's Republic of China, Indonesia, Macau, Malaysia, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Taiwan, South Korea and Vietnam).
2008–09: In Love & War
In late 2007, Entertainment Weekly reported that Amerie had left her label Columbia Records. In April 2008, Amerie's name was removed from the label's roster. She signed a label/production deal with her imprint Feenix Rising Entertainment, through the Island Def Jam Music Group. On her Twitter account, Amerie revealed that she has been secretly recording new music in Atlanta, Georgia; and that the album will be in fact a concept album. The album was executively produced by LA Reid, manager LG Nicholson, and Amerie herself.
The album featured production from The Buchanans, Warryn Campbell, Bryan-Michael Cox, Sean Garrett, Eric Hudson, Jim Jonsin, Jonas Jeberg, Karma, Rico Love, M-Phazes, Teddy Riley, and TrackNova. Rich Harrison did not make any contributions because he has been busy with his new group Richgirl, although Amerie hoped to work with him on her fifth album. Amerie announced that her first single off the album was "Why R U", produced by Amerie & The Buchanans . The single premiered on radio in NYC on Funkmaster Flex's radio show where he played the record for 20 minutes straight stating "He never thought this record would ever be flipped so well You got one Amerie!" . The song appeared online the week of May 4, 2009 and received rave reviews. The dual second singles are "Heard 'Em All" and "Pretty Brown" featuring Trey Songz . Amerie's In Love & War album first debuted at #46 on the Billboard 200, but is ontrack to debut at #7 wich is her first top 10 debut.
2010–present: Cymatika Vol. 1
Amerie is currently in the studio working on her fifth studio album, Cymatika Vol. 1, to be released in 2011. The album title is based on the word Cymatics, which means the study of visible sound and vibration. On May 20, 2010 she revealed a new song via twitter titled "Who's Gonna Love You". The first single "Outside Your Body" was released on November 16, 2010.