Amerie

Pop-oriented R&B singer and songwriter Amerie -- born Amerie Mi Marie Rogers in Fitchburg, Massachusetts to a Korean mother and an African-American father who was a career military man -- grew up on bases from Alaska to Germany. As a youth, she gained an appreciation of the classical arts (from her mother) and of music (from her father), and she also studied dance from an early age and performed in talent contests. After her high school graduation, her family settled down in Virginia while she began to attend Georgetown University, from which she later graduated with a degree in English and Fine Arts. While living in Washington, D.C., she met producer Rich Harrison, who worked with such performers as Mary J. Blige, and began developing demos with him. This led to a deal with Rise Entertainment and, in turn, major-label Columbia.