Amber Patrice Riley, an American actress and singer, is best known for her portrayal of Mercedes Jones on the Fox comedy-drama series Glee. For her performance on the series, she won a Screen Actors Guild Award and has been nominated for two Teen Choice Awards, four NAACP Image Awards, and two Grammys. Here are some other fun facts you might find interesting about Riley.
1. Riley was born in Los Angeles, California, the daughter of Tiny Hightower and Elwin Riley.
2. She auditioned for American Idol when she was 17 years old, during the show’s second season, but was turned down by the producers.
3. In 2008, Riley was cast in the role of Mercedes Jones on the comedy-drama television series Glee, and appeared as a main cast member for all six seasons.
4. She sang the national anthem at the 2012 Democratic National Convention.
5. In 2013, Riley won the seventeenth season of ABC’s dancing competition, Dancing with the Stars. She was partnered with the show’s one and only six-time champion, Derek Hough.
6. Riley and her sister Ashley launched a plus-size online clothing boutique, “Rileyland Fashions,” in January 2014.
7. In December 2015, she portrayed Addaperle, the Good Witch of the North, in NBC’s live performance of The Wiz.
8. Starting November 2016, Riley is going to portray the lead role of “Effie White” at the Savoy Theatre in London’s West End first ever production of the Tony and Oscar-winning, Dreamgirls.
9. Riley starred in a PSA campaign to encourage young people in the fight for keeping music education in schools.