It took one smashing hit to push Amerie into the limelight, where she has remained. Though with mixed ethnicity, the American singer has gone to high places in the industry with her songs, which portray a unique concept. Her efforts have landed her a good measure of nominations for prestigious awards like the Grammy. It was in 2006 that her second studio album, Touch, earned her a nomination for the award under the Best Contemporary R&B Album. Even as she didn’t bang the gong at the end of the day, she has won the Vibe Award for Club Banger of the Year, and the Soul Train Music Award for Best R&B/Soul, among many other recognitions.
As much as her music has endured the test of time, many things about the singer, who has spread her wings to the acting industry, continue to pique the interest of many. Prominent among them are her heritage, the kind of upbringing she had, how her music career took off, and her love life. Everyone already knows that Amerie is of mixed ethnicity, but exactly how did she come about that?
The Singer Was Raised In a Military-Christian Home
Amerie was born as Ameriie Mi Marie Rogers on January 12, 1980, into a military home. The singer and her family had to move to different places, wherever her father, who was military personnel, was sent to. For this reason, she had to change schools often. Nonetheless, she developed a strong personality and a will to excel in her academics.
In between her switches, she developed an interest in writing and making music. She is from a strong Christian home, where Christian values and beliefs were greatly upheld. Amerie was that daughter, whose parents didn’t allow her to use a phone while in school. It continued this way until she, as well as her sister, were old enough to use a phone.
Amerie attended Georgetown University in Washington, where she graduated with a B.A. in English and Fine Arts minor in design. This further grew her interest in creative arts. One of the significant contacts she made while in the school was with a club promoter who linked her up with Rich Harrison, a producer.
Tracing The Family Heritage of Amerie
If you come across Amerie being described as a Korean American, it is very true as she is an American of Korean descent. It is also true that she can identify as an African American. She has her parents to thank for her exotic heritage. Her father, Charles Rogers, is an African American while his wife Mi Suk is from South Korea. Charles and Mi have Amerie in Fitchburg, Massachusetts, but they moved a few months after they had the singer to South Korea, where Amerie spent the earliest years of her life.
Probably because of how good Charles and Mi parented her, Amerie did not grow up facing issues because of her biracial identity. According to her, she knows a lot of mixed people and many of them haven’t had issues. Not that the issues aren’t there, she admitted that it is frustrating that sometimes, people find it difficult accepting that she’s Black and Korean. She was often asked what she would settle for if she could choose between being Black and Korean.
Venturing Into The Music Industry for a Career
Although her father Charles was a military man, her career choices were made by her and were never imposed. She had joined Navy ROTC while in DC but quit in her second year. Meeting Rich Harrison was one of the noble events in her life as the two soon grew a strong platonic bond. It happened that Harrison, who also produced for stars like Mary J Blige, developed an interest in her after she sang along to his different tracks.
At the time she started working with Harrison, the producer had just concluded works on MJ Blige’s albums, Mary and No More Drama. Admired for her strong piercing voice, which often makes her come off as an aggressive singer, Harrison began to develop demos for Amerie, whose talent stood out amongst many others. In 2001, she recorded the chorus for Nas‘ single, Rule. That same year, she recorded Life with Rapper Royce da 5’9″; Amerie was just getting started at the time.
The following year 2002, she made a grand debut with her album All I Have, which topped the charts all around the US. Reports had it that the album sold up to 89,000 copies in its first week of release. Amerie had a lot going for her in 2002. She had to manage her activities to fit into her schedules, which included making appearances for movies and touring the US to promote her album, All I Have. That same year, she covered the song “I’m Coming Out,” originally sung by Diana Ross for the soundtrack to the film Maid in Manhattan.
The year 2003 saw the singer develop and host BET’s The Center, an afternoon music program, which ascended to great heights with regards to ratings. The Center enjoyed her presence and input until 2004 when she landed a role in The First Daughter. The movie, which was directed by Forest Whitaker, not only earned her more recognition but also showcased her to the world.
The Works She’s Most Known For
In 2003, Amerie, who became a sweetheart in the industry, drew the attention of her counterparts many of whom wished to collaborate with her. Some of these were the likes of DJ Kay Slay, who featured her on his album, The Streetsweeper Vol 1, for the track “Too Much for Me.”
She soon began to work on her second album, Touch, in 2004. The tracks were written by Amerie and her friend Harrison. She also got contributions from Lil Jon, Bryce Wilson, Red Spyda, and Dre & Vidal. The following year, her platinum single ‘1 Thing’ was released. The song broke barriers to become her greatest single to date.
Amerie’s ‘1 Thing’ peaked at number eight on the Billboard Hot 100 and topped the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. That wasn’t all; it stayed on the top five hits in the UK that year, becoming the year’s best-selling single.
What We Know About Her Husband and Family
Amerie has been married to Lenny Nicholson since 2011. From what we know about the man, he is also into the music business as he was a former executive of Columbia Records. Unlike his popular wife, the public doesn’t know much about Lenny, even though he is a popular name in music circles. This is because he operates more from the background.
A platonic work relationship soon developed into a romantic one, and Amerie and her manager decided to make things formal in 2004. The 1 Thing singer got engaged to her heartthrob in 2010, and in 2011, they got married.
Reports had it that the singer didn’t want to have children, due to issues which the media claims revolve around her music career. But then, Amerie announced that she is expecting her first child in 2018.
The previous year, Amerie and Meek Mill sparked relationship rumors in 2017 when the latter posted several images with her at a nightclub in Dubai.
How Amerie Fell In Love With Lenny
In an interview, Amerie disclosed that the genesis of their love story was when she wanted to oversee the artistic development of her album. She demanded to work with Lenny because he had a good reputation, and she can trust him with her “stuff.”
Even before this, he had helped her career, but they never really talked until she started working on her second album. Gradually, their professional relationship became personal; it was weird but they decided to go on a date.
The date marked the beginning of their life together as they were inseparable after that. Amerie became very fond of Lenny because of his gentility and romantic nature. Also, she loves the way he treats her family. On June 25th, 2011, the two got married and have remained together ever since.