Amerie leaped to fame in 2005 with the platinum-selling smash single “1 Thing,” a masterful piece of dance-floor R&B cowritten and produced by Beyonce cohort Rich Harrison. The song was a perfect pop platter, offering a taste of the times while somehow sounding one step ahead of the competition. Better still, it was effortlessly sexy, helped along by a video in which Amerie wiggled her backside provocatively at the camera, clad in the shortest shorts imaginable.
It was a world away from the slick R&B ballads that rounded out Amerie’s 2002 debut album “All I Have,” and its success was a trick she has yet to repeat, despite the fine pop songs on her her 2005 and 2006 albums “Touch” and “Because I Love It.”
Chart success be damned — it’s the music that counts, and Amerie (born Amerie Mi Marie Rogers in 1980) is no stranger to juicy tunes. Her mixed African-American-Korean heritage and childhood spent traveling the world with her military father no doubt contributed to her universal appeal that bolsters R&B with something edgier.
What to expect from her upcoming Tokyo and Osaka shows?
For one, it’s safe to assume she’ll bring her bottom with her, along with her four-piece band, two dancers and a clutch of dancetastic songs. And you can expect Amerie herself to be having a good time — as she told the U.S. music-television show Soul Train, “At the beginning, I had such stage fright that I dreaded every show and I was like, ‘Why, why can’t I stay in the studio and do pictures and videos?’ But it’s great, and I actually love life on the road too.”
Amerie plays Billboard Live Osaka on Nov. 2 (6:30 and 9:30 p.m.) and Nov. 3 (6 and 9 p.m.); Nov. 5-7 Billboard Live Tokyo (6:30 and 9:30 p.m.) Tickets are ¥10,600 and ¥12,600. For Osaka, call (06) 6342-7722; for Tokyo, call (03) 3405-1133.