Amerie

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Ameriie Mi Marie Rogers (born January 12, 1980), known professionally as Amerie (currently Ameriie), is an American singer, songwriter, author, actress and record producer.

She debuted in 2002 with her highly acclaimed debut album All I Have. In 2003, she helped develop the BET original series The Center, which she also hosted, and, during her run as host, accumulated the highest ratings ever for any show in its time slot. Amerie's time on the series was short-lived due to her landing a starring role in the 2004 film First Daughter, alongside Katie Holmes, Marc Blucas, and Michael Keaton. In 2005, Amerie released her sophomore album Touch, which included her biggest hit to date, "1 Thing". The song and the album earned her two Grammy nominations and gained her crossover recognition. Her third album, Because I Love It, achieved moderate international success in 2007, although it was not released in North America and she was subsequently bought out of her Sony contract by LA Reid Columbia Records' roster. Ameriie released her fourth studio album, In Love & War, in 2009 on Island Def Jam.

On May 20, 2016, Ameriie independently released an EP, titled Drive. She appeared on The Breakfast Club, 105.1 and announced she would continue to release music throughout the year.

Early life and education

Ameriie was born to a South Korean mother, artist Mi Suk and African American father, Charles. A few months after she was born, the Rogers family moved to South Korea, where Amerie lived for three years. Her father, Charles, was a chief warrant officer in the U.S. military, so the family lived in many different places, including Alaska, Texas, Virginia and Germany. 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: "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 B.A. in English and a Fine Arts minor in design.

While studying at Georgetown, Ameriie befriended a Washington, D.C. club promoter who eventually put her in touch with producer Rich Harrison. During an interview with Maxim, Ameriie said she agreed to met up with Harrison at a public location because she did not know Harrison so she chose a well placed McDonald's parking lot, Harrison played his tracks and Amerie sang along and instantly they knew it was something special. Harrison, who had just worked on Mary J. Blige's albums Mary and No More Drama, began recording and developing demos with Ameriie. This led to her first record deal with Columbia Records. According to Ameriie, she and Harrison immediately hit it off. In a 2002 interview, she said: "For some reason we had a very special chemistry. When we would work together something great would happen."

Career

2001–2003: All I Have

Ameriie 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.

In July 2002, Ameriie'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 (produced and co-written in its entirety by Rich Harrison), 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 20 entry on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, although it peaked outside the top 40 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 The 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".

2004–2005: Touch

Amerie gained even more recognition from garnering her first acting role in the 2004 film First Daughter with Katie Holmes and directed by Forrest Whittaker. The film was not commercially appreciated, possibly due to its development being pushed back several years. Also, in 2004, Amerie began working on her sophomore album, Touch, in early 2004. As with All I Have, the album Executive Produced by Ameriie and Lenny Nicholson it was co-written and produced by friend 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 January 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 on April 26, 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 20 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 September 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 20 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.

2006–2007: Because I Love It

In 2006, Amerie returned to the studio to work on her third album, Because I Love It, enlisting producers such as The Buchanans, One Up, Mike Caren. 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." "Take Control", which was co-produced by Mike Caren, Amerie and Nicholson and co-written by Amerie along with Cee-Lo Green, became a top 10 hit in the UK in mid 2007. Because I Love It was released on May 14, 2007, in Europe, Asia and Australasia, reaching the top 20 in the UK, where the album's second single, "Gotta Work", reached number 21. The album has been certified silver by the BPI. In late 2007,

During 2007, the impending U.S. release of Because I Love It made the Blender magazine list of "25 Reasons to Love '07", ranking nineteenth. The official release date was delayed several times, and the singles "Take Control" (released in October 2006) and "Gotta Work" were given little promotion, with neither song reaching the Billboard Hot 100 (the latter peaked at number 66 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart). Amerie spoke of her difficulties with Columbia Records in a late 2007 interview, complaining that the label was not promoting Because I Love It adequately and that there had been major delays and shake-ups within the label executive teams, the politics effected many of the releases during that time. Amerie refuses a North American release. She immediately signs to Dej jam with LA Reid.

2008–2010: In Love & War

In June 2008, Amerie announced 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. In October 2008, Columbia Records released the compilation album Playlist: The Very Best of Amerie; in March 2009, the label released a second compilation album, titled Best 15 Things, in Japan only.

Amerie described her fourth album, In Love & War, 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", charted at number 55 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart in the U.S. "Heard 'Em All", which featured rapper Lil Wayne, peaked at number 81 on the same 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 46 on the Billboard 200 and number three on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums.

In July 2010, Ameriie announced that she had changed the spelling of her stage name to Ameriie, explaining: "I operate on vibes and intuition, and I believe everything is energy; the vibration of the double I is right for me. Slightly different spelling, completely same pronunciation!" Later this year, she premiered a new song titled "Outside Your Body."

2011–present: BILI, Cymatika trilogy, and Drive

In July 2011, it was reported that Ameriie 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, and Andre Harris (of Dre & Vidal), amongst others; Ameriie 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. Also in this era, Ameriie lent her vocals to numerous songs, collaborating with Lil' Eddie on his 2011 single, Guardian Angel, and Jean-Roch on his 2012 single "Fly Away", which also featured Fat Joe.

In 2012, Ameriie announced a forthcoming 'mini-LP' titled The Prelude; subsequently, in 2013, she stated that she had been working on a new project, Because I Love It Vol. II, a follow-up to her 2007 album. Ameriie said that this album, now titled BILI, stemmed from songs that did not fit sonically or thematically onto Cymatika—"songs that are heavy in percussion, but have a very aggressive, soulful element to them. They don't exist in any one time, or sound of the moment." BILI and Cymatika are both slated for release in 2015. A single, "What I Want" (which samples "Apache" by Incredible Bongo Band), was released from BILI in 2014. Later in the year, Ameriie premiered the track "Mustang" and announced a UK tour for March 2015.

In March 2015, Ameriie collaborated with long-time friend and producer Rich Harrison on a single, "Out Loud". She promoted the song through live performances and made it available on SoundCloud and YouTube.

In May 2016, she appeared on The Breakfast Club, 105.1 and announced an EP titled Drive, released on May 20, a second untitled EP due later on in the year, and that she's still at work on her Cymatika album which will be a trilogy. Drive, initially being released on SoundCloud, accumulated more than 100,000 streams within its first 3 days of release, and was named one of the best R&B albums of 2016 by Rolling Stone. Additionally, she worked writing and editing an anthology book titled "Because You Love to Hate Me" as well as a sci-fi trilogy novel series. "Because You Love To Hate Me" hit bookstores July 11, 2017. She has released a single titled "REDRUM" which is part of an album titled MA3 due some time late 2017 its available everywhere songs are streamed and sold.

Artistry

Rogers possesses a full lyric soprano vocal range that spans 3 octaves. She is 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 production and instrumentation credits as well. In an interview with Myplay.com, she described her early process of recording music: "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!".

Ameriie listed diverse musical influences in a 2014 interview, including the musical Grease, Motown era soul music, late 1960s rock and roll, heavy metal, 1980s pop and new wave, German pop music, Korean traditional music, R&B, and hip hop. She has also cited film scores as an inspiration, describing them as "that very surround-sound, immersive experience". While she almost exclusively releases English language songs, Amerie has recorded with Korean artists such as 4minute on Heard Em All which a performance aired in KBS and MNET and Ameriie did a performance with 4 Minute for Korean car company KIA motors to unveil a new car.

Awards and Nominations

Other projects

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.

In 2014, Amerie (by this time her name was changed to "Ameriie") launched a YouTube video blog titled "Books Beauty Ameriie" and said that she was writing two novels, one young adult and one fantasy. Ameriie's new book titled "Because You Love to Hate Me" is a New York Times Best Seller. She continues to work on a Sci-Fi trilogy and her stand alone novels while working on a new album due late fall 2017 or 2nd qt 2018.

Personal life

In 2004, Ameriie began dating her manager, Sony music executive LG Nicholson, On February 27, 2010, it was officially announced that Ameriie and Nicholson were engaged. The couple married on June 25, 2011, in an oceanfront ceremony in Anguilla.

Discography

  • All I Have (2002)
  • Touch (2005)
  • Because I Love It (2007)
  • In Love & War (2009)
  • Drive (2016)

References

External links

  • Official website
  • Amerie at Island Def Jam Music Group
  • Amerie at AllMusic
  • Ameriie on IMDb

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