Amerie Mi Marie Rogers (born January 12, 1980), known professionally as Amerie or Ameriie, is an American singer-songwriter, record producer, and actress. She 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 Ameriie lived for three years. Her father, Charles, was a chief warrant officer, so Ameriie 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 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 while recording Amerie’s debut album, writing all of the songs featured on the album. To help Amerie get a start in the music field, she recorded the chorus for the song Rule, performed by Nas. The single failed to make an impact on the music charts, but did peak at number 67 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks chart in the United States. The song was, however, featured in the 2003 film Honey, as well as the children’s film, Like Mike. She also recorded a song with Detroit native rapper Royce da 5’9″, titled Life. The song failed to chart on any music charts, and was a commercial failure. It served as the third and final single from his Rock City (Version 2.0) album.
On July 8, 2002, Amerie’s debut single, “Why Don’t We Fall in Love”, was released for digital download and radio airplay. The song managed to have minor success in some countries. In the US, the song managed to reach a peak of 23 on the Billboard Hot 100, as well as number 9 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, and number 3 on the Hot Dance Club Play chart.
In July 2011, it was reported that Amerie was in the studio working on her fifth studio album, to be released in 2012.