Amerie’s “1 Thing” Lyrics Meaning

“1 Thing” is a love song in a way, though not an idyllic or fantastical one. Rather, most simply explained the vocalist is addicted to the addressee, i.e. her romantic interest. And it doesn’t actually read like they’re dating. Instead, what the title and chorus of the song is indicating of is that there is “one thing” in particular that is keeping Amerie committed to this relationship.

Based on the way the songstress described the conceptualization of this piece in her own words, its premise is that this romance is somehow troubled, but again that “one thing” keeps her coming back for more instead of just it quits. 

Moreover, she and co-writer Rich Harrison noticed that as a common habit amongst people in relationships, i.e. staying committed to romances for only one particular reason. But as for the actual lyrics of the song, they don’t actually imply that the featured relationship is tumultuous or anything like that. 

Instead they give the impression that the vocalist and addressee don’t really know each other, and the former is not really keen on hooking up long term, but she became unexpectedly addicted nonetheless.

And with that in mind, even though the “one thing” that got her hooked is never specified, all things considered (such as the track’s cover art), it is likely she is alluding to sex – or being a-d*ck-ted, as some would say. 

The Conclusion

So the easiest way to understand this song, being a bit imaginative in the process, is that the “one thing” that transpired was in fact a one-night stand. And as such experiences often tend to go, the singer engaged in this act with someone she doesn’t really know, although beforehand they were at least cognizant of each other’s existence. 

So it’s as if the vocalist gotten more than she bargained for. She isn’t complaining though, as that “one thing” she’s receiving from the vocalist is enough in her eyes to make their continued relationship acceptable.  And again the lyrics themselves don’t actually specify sex, so theoretically can be speaking to true love or what have you.

Lyrics to Amerie's "1 Thing"
Amerie explains "1 Thing"

Release of “1 Thing”

“1 Thing” was released on January 5 of 2005 as the first single from the album, “Touch”.

The song peaked at number 8 in the US making it the singer’s first top-10 single. It peaked at No.1 in the UK and ranked at enviable positions on charts around the world. Here is a look at how it performed in some countries:

  • Ireland – 6
  • Finland – 5
  • Denmark – 9
  • Belgium – 5
  • Australian – 7

Awards and accolades

In October of 2005, the song received a Gold certification by RIAA for its digital downloads. In June of the following year, it was certified Gold for ringtone sales.

The song was placed at No.22 and No.32 on Rolling Stone’s list of the best songs of the 2000s and top 500 songs of the 2000s by Pitchfork respectively.

American music magazine, Blender, placed it at No.191 on its “The 500 Greatest Songs Since You Were Born” list.

At the Grammy Awards in 2006, the song earned Amerie a nomination for the award, “Best Female R&B Vocal Performance”. The award was eventually won by Mariah Carey with her song “We Belong Together”. The following singers also had songs nominated for the said award:

  • Fantasia – “Free Yourself”
  • Alicia Keys – “Unbreakable”
  • Beyoncé – “Wishing on a Star”


“1 Thing” was authored by Amerie herself with support from the following:

  • Stanley Walden
  • Rich Harrison

Harrison, a specialist in the composition and production of R&B songs, was responsible for the song’s production.


Several cover versions of “1 Thing” have been put out by various artists over the years. Below are a few randomly selected versions in no particular order:

  • The Opposites (2005)         
  • Peter and Kerry (2013)
  • Kidz Bop Kids (2005)
  • Ane Brun (2013)


“1 Thing” was featured in “Hitch”, a 2005 American comedy film, written by Kevin Bisch and directed by Andy Tennant.

It was also featured in Sofia Coppola’s 2010 drama film which starred Stephen Dorff.

The “Touch” Album

“Touch” was released on 26th of April, 2005 as Amerie’s second studio album.

Three record labels namely, Richcraft Records, Columbia Records and Sony Urban Music were responsible for the album’s launch.

In addition to “1 Thing” two other songs were put out as singles from the album. They are:

  • “Touch” was released on June 7 of 2005
  • “Talkin’ About” dropped on August 9 of 2005

This R&B album was certified Gold by the RIAA in the US after selling over half a million copies. Generally, music critics were generous with positive reviews for the album. For example, Andy Kellman of AllMusic opined the album was an improvement over the singer’s debut album.

The album peaked at number 5 in the US and number 26 in the United Kingdom.

At the 2006 Grammy awards, the album was nominated for “Best Contemporary R&B Album”. It faced competition from the following albums:

1 Thing

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