She debuted in 2002 with her highly acclaimed 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.
In 2005, Amerie released her second 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.