Amerie in the 2006 Red Dress Collection for the Heart Truth campaign
|Birth name||Amerie Mi Marie Rogers|
|Also known as||Amerie
|Born||January 12, 1980|
|Origin||Washington, D.C., U.S.|
|Genres||R&B, pop, hip hop soul, funk|
|Occupations||Recording artist, record producer, actress|
|Labels||Columbia, Feeniix Rising Entertainment, Island Def Jam|
|Associated acts||Chingy, Fabolous, Nas, Carl Thomas|
Amerie Mi Marie Rogers (born January 12, 1980), known professionally as Amerie or Ameriie, is an American recording artist, record producer, and actress. She debuted in 2002 with the album All I Have, primarily co-written and produced by Rich Harrison, and was well received in the urban market. In 2005, Amerie released her biggest hit to date, "1 Thing", the lead single from her second album, Touch, which garnered her crossover recognition and earned two Grammy Award nominations. Her third album, Because I Love It, achieved moderate international success in 2007, although it was not released in North America, and she subsequently left her label Columbia Records. Amerie released her fourth studio album, In Love & War, in 2009, her first album under Island Def Jam.
Early life and education
Amerie was born to South 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 South 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. 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. The singer 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.
While studying at Georgetown, Amerie befriended a Washington, D.C. club promoter who eventually put her in touch with producer Rich Harrison. During an interview with Maxim, Amerie said she met up with Harrison at a McDonald's parking lot, and performed a song for him in her car. Rich Harrison—who had just worked on Mary J. Blige's albums Mary and No More Drama—began making/developing demos with Amerie. This led to Ameriie's first record deal with Harrison's Richcraft Entertainment, in collaboration with Columbia Records. According to Amerie, her and Harrison immediately hit it off. In a 2002 interview, she commented "For some reason we had a very special chemistry. When we would work together something great would happen." The two worked together to record Amerie's debut album, All I Have, and the two wrote all of the songs featured on the album.
Amerie recorded the chorus for the 2001 single "Rule", performed by Nas. The single peaked at number 67 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks chart in the United States. She also recorded a song with Detroit rapper Royce da 5'9", titled "Life", the third and final single from his Rock City (Version 2.0) album.
2002–04: All I Have
In July 2002, Amerie's debut single, "Why Don't We Fall in Love", was released, peaking at number 23 on the Billboard Hot 100 and becoming a top ten hit on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs and Hot Dance Club Play charts. The song was an urban top twenty hit in Australia and reached the top forty in the UK. Amerie's debut album, All I Have, was released in July 2002 to generally positive reviews. It debuted at number nine on the U.S. Billboard 200, selling 89,000 copies in its first week of release; the album has since been certified Gold by the RIAA and has sold 657,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan. To promote the album, Amerie went on tour with Usher and Nas, traveling on Usher's Evolution 8701 Tour in 2002. Amerie also promoted the album by touring with rapper Nelly, performing on 12 dates in the tour. The second and final single from All I Have was "Talkin' to Me", a top twenty entry on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, although it peaked outside the top forty on the Billboard Hot 100. Also in 2002, Amerie covered the song "I'm Coming Out" by Diana Ross for the soundtrack to the film Maid in Manhattan.
In 2003, Amerie won the Soul Train Award for Best R&B/Soul or Rap New Artist and was also nominated for Best Female R&B/Soul Single, for "Why Don't We Fall In Love", and Best Female R&B/Soul Album, for All I Have. She received a BET Award nomination for Best Female R&B Artist and an Image Award nomination for Outstanding New Artist. Amerie lent her vocals to the LL Cool J song "Paradise", which peaked at number fourteen on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs and became the singer's second top forty entry on the Hot 100. She was also featured on DJ Kayslay's "Too Much for Me", on his 2003 album StreetSweeper Vol. 1, which reached number 53 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs. Amerie appeared on Bow Wow's third album Unleashed singing the hook on "To My Mama". She was also featured on the soundtrack to the Jessica Alba dance film Honey, on the Rodney Jerkins-produced track "When I Think of You".
During 2003, Amerie was the presenter of the BET teen/youth lifestyle series The Center, which she also helped to develop. In 2004, Amerie earned her first acting role, portraying the role of Mia Thompson, a college student who rooms with the president's daughter, in the film First Daughter, alongside actress Katie Holmes.
2005–07: Touch and Because I Love It
Amerie began work on her second album, Touch, in early 2004. 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. She also assumed more creative control over the visual imagery accompanying the album, such as videos and artwork—"I feel like when you do a record, you have a vision in your mind and you want to carry it across—and it doesn't end with the studio", she has said. In March 2005, Amerie released the lead single, titled "1 Thing". The dance-pop song, which sampled The Meters's 1970 funk recording "Oh, Calcutta!", became Amerie's biggest hit to date. In the United States, it peaked at number eight on the Billboard Hot 100 and topped the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. The RIAA awarded a gold certification to its digital download in October 2005, and another gold certification to its ringtone release in June 2006. The song was a top five hit in the UK, where it became one of the year's best-selling singles, and attained top ten and top twenty positions across continental Europe.
Touch was released in April 2005 and debuted at number five on the Billboard 200, selling 124,000 copies in its first week of release. The album was certified gold by the RIAA in August 2005, having sold 406,000 copies in the United States as of June 2009. The album's title track "Touch" was released as the second single from the album and peaked at number 95 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart in the United States, although it was a top twenty entry in the UK. A third single, titled "Talkin' About", was released in America only; an official music video was planned but eventually scrapped. In late 2005, Amerie was featured alongside Fat Joe on "I Don't Care", the lead single of Ricky Martin's album Life. The single entered the top twenty in several European countries and Australia.
The success of "1 Thing" and Touch led to Amerie being nominated for several more awards. The album itself was nominated for two Grammy Award nominations in 2006: Best Female R&B Vocal Performance for "1 Thing", and Best Contemporary R&B Album. "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, Ameriie 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" was sixth on The Root's list of Top 10 Hip-Hop/R&B Songs of the 2000s.
In 2006, Amerie returned to the studio to work on her third album, Because I Love It, enlisting producers such as Bryan-Michael Cox, The Buchanans, One Up, and Chris & Drop. The album was her first not to feature writing and production from her long-time collaborator, friend, and producer Rich Harrison. She cited music of the 1980s as a major influence on the album, saying "I love 80's music period! That's why I did Because I Love It, since it had mostly R&B, soul, and 80's new wave. When I said I wanted to do that in 2006, people were like, 'what?!' [...] but I love it." A re-worked version of the album's first single, "Take Control", with Korean pop singer Seven is featured on the Asian editions of the album, reflective of Amerie's adoration for K-pop. "Take Control", which was co-produced by Mike Caren, Amerie and Nicholson and co-written by Amerie along with Cee-Lo Green, was released in the U.S. in late 2006 and peaked at number sixty-six on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. In the United Kingdom, it fared considerably better and became a top ten hit. Because I Love It was released in May 2007 in Europe, Asia and Australasia, reaching the top twenty in the UK, where the album's second single, "Gotta Work", reached number 21. The album has been certified silver by the BPI.
During 2007, Amerie said that a North American release of the album was being prepared, with an altered track listing. The impending U.S. release made the Blender magazine list of "25 Reasons to Love '07", ranking nineteenth. Amerie also announced a third single, "Crush", would be released from the album; this did not come to pass as Amerie was dropped by Columbia Records in late 2007. Around this time, Amerie released a collaboration with Chingy, titled "Fly Like Me", which peaked at number 89 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was a minor urban hit.
2008–10: New label, and In Love & War
After the announcement that Amerie had parted ways with Columbia Records, rumors began appearing online as to what would become of Amerie's career. Rumors quickly began that she would be signing a contract with Island Def Jam Music Group, after her collaboration with Chingy was released the previous year. On June 12, 2008, Amerie officially confirmed she had signed a label/production deal through the Island Def Jam Music Group, which allowed her to release her music under her own label, Feenix Rising. After announcing she had signed with the label, she also revealed she was recording new material for her upcoming fourth studio album. On October 21, 2008, Columbia Records released the compilation album Playlist: The Very Best of Amerie. On March 18, 2009, Columbia Records released a second compilation album by Amerie, titled Best 15 Things, as there were 15 songs on the album. '15' was only released in Japan. In 2009, Amerie revealed to fans more about her upcoming album, describing it as "a fusion of hip-hop, soul, and rock" with elements of '70s music, and "a direct extension of my first album [All I Have]". It features 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. The album's lead single, "Why R U", was released on June 15, 2009. The song was her first single to be released from the Island Def Jam Music Group. The song failed to make much of an impact, due to release issues and lack of promotion. The song did, however, chart at number 55 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart in the US. "Heard 'Em All", which featured rapper Lil Wayne, was released as the album's second official single on August 31, 2009. The song performed worse than its predecessor, only reaching a peak of number 81 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. It did, however, enter the Top 10 on the Korean pop charts. With little radio support, and hindered by distribution problems, In Love & War debuted at number forty-six on the Billboard 200 and number three on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums. The album was a commercial failure, and is her first US released album to not receive a certification from the RIAA.
2011–present: Cymatika Vol. 1
In July 2011, it was reported that Amerie was in the studio working on her fifth studio album, titled Cymatika Vol. 1. The album's title is based on the word cymatics, the study of visible sound and vibration. The production lineup consists of Riley Urick, The Buchanans, Julian Perretta, and Andre Harris (of Dre & Vidal), amongst others; Amerie said that she may reunite with Rich Harrison for the project but that it would be "a matter of when and in what way." Cymatika Vol. 1 will also include special guest appearances from Drunken Tiger's Tiger JK and Tasha Reid. According to the singer, Cymatika will explore freedom, androgyny, and the new world order, and is influenced by trance, electronica, house, and New Wave. Second and third volumes of Cymatika are planned.
Music and voice
Rogers possesses a full lyric soprano, vocal range that spans three octaves. She's known for having an aggressive vocal delivery, incorporated with a soulful and emotive, distinct tone. Since the start of her career, Amerie has been heavily involved within the creative process of her music, receiving not only writing credits but producing credits as well, Amerie has also vocally produced, played instruments and arranged on her own music. In an interview "My-Play" she stated "“I’ve always loved creating music. When I was in high school, I used to record songs that I wrote by using two different tape recorders and two separate tapes. I would start by recording myself on the first tape, singing the song down from top to finish. Then, I would play it back, while singing the harmonies and recording them onto the second tape. I’d just keep repeating the process, going back and forth between tapes until I had a final version of the full song on one tape, with stacked harmonies, backgrounds and everything!” Critics often feel that Amerie is underrated in her own right, an article from R&B/hip hop blog "Earstyle" wrote "Ameriie may be one of the most underrated chicks in the game. Not only does she writes her own songs, but she assists in the production, the creative process, and plays instruments on her own tracks. Talk about talented."" Her music is generally contemporary R&B, but she also incorporates pop, funk, hip hop, soul, go-go, rock and new wave into her albums. While she almost exclusively releases English songs, Amerie has recorded a few English songs with some Korean artists such as 4minute and Se7en.
In 2004, Amerie began dating her manager, Lenny Nicholson. They continued their relationship while Amerie recorded her second album, Touch. On March 1, 2010, it was officially announced that Amerie and Nicholson were engaged. The couple married on June 25, 2011, in an oceanfront ceremony in Anguilla.
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- Top 10 Hip-Hop/R&B Songs of the 2000s
- "Q&A: Amerie | LimitĂŠ Magazine - Your Online Guide To Lifestyle". Limitemagazine.com. 2009-08-03. Retrieved 2011-11-24.
- "Se7en to Duet with Half-Korean American Singer Ameie". KBS. December 15, 2006. Retrieved 2007-01-25.
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- "February 2008 Archives - 7/17 - ..::That Grape Juice // ThatGrapeJuice.net::.. || Thirsty?". Thatgrapejuice.net. Retrieved 2012-05-01.
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- "Amerie". Mahalo.com. 1978-01-12. Retrieved 2012-03-03.
- Post Reply. "Whatever happened to ? Haven't heard any music from her in a while, she's not the greatest of singers but she had some great songs!". Mahalo.com. Retrieved 2012-03-03.
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- [dead link]
- Search | Billboard
- "Hit 94 FM STEREO ARUBA | We blow the competition away!". Hit94fm.com. Retrieved 2012-03-03.
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- "Ameriie (formerly Amerie) is back with 'Cymatika Vol 1.')". Popwife.com. 2011-07-16. Retrieved 2012-03-03.
- "MUSIC NEWS: AMERIIE DISCUSSES "CYMATIKA, VOL. 1″ + POSSIBLE RICH HARRISON REUNION". Concreteloop.Com. 2011-07-18. Retrieved 2012-03-03.
- Ameriie Shares Exclusive Details on Upcoming Album, 'Cymatika Vol. 1' – The Juice. Billboard.com. Retrieved on 2011-08-29.
- Q&A: Ameriie Explores Freedom, Androgyny, & New World Order on New Album. Rap-Up.com (2011-07-25). Retrieved on 2011-08-29.
- "Amerie — Artist Bio | Myplay: Powered by Sony Music". Myplay. Retrieved 2011-07-25.
- "Amerie — Artist Bio | Myplay: Powered by Sony Music". Myplay. Retrieved 2011-07-25.
- "Should Have Been A Hit: Ameriie – “Not The Only One” « EarStyle | C'est Bon". Earstyle.net. 2011-06-18. Retrieved 2011-07-25.
- YBF EXCLUSIVE: Tamia's NEW "Beautiful Surprise" Single (2010-03-01). "Amerie Engaged+More Pics From Fabolous' Son's 2nd Birthday Party | The Young, Black, and Fabulous". Theybf.com. Retrieved 2012-03-03.
- Comments (2011-06-27). "Singer Ameriie Gets Married to Lenny Nicholson". PopEater.com. Retrieved 2012-03-03.
- View Comments (2011-06-26). "Amerie Married Longtime Boyfriend Lenny Nicholson In Beach Wedding In British West Indies". Bossip. Retrieved 2012-03-03.
- "Ameriie Marries Record Exec Lenny Nicholson". PerezHilton.com. 2011-06-28. Retrieved 2012-03-03.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Amerie.|
- Official website
- Amerie at Island Def Jam Music Group
- Amerie at AllMusic
- Amerie on Twitter
- Amerie at the Internet Movie Database