Born and raised in Los Angeles, Amber Riley was no stranger to the entertainment industry. Despite her obvious talent, Amber’s age was a determining factor in auditions for American Idol and for the role of Effie White in the successful Dreamgirls movie, who both felt she was too young.
When Riley was cast by Ryan Murphy on the failed pilot St. Sass, it seemed as though another door was closed, but it would be the relationship with Murphy that kicked the door to Amber’s big break open. Later when Murphy was creating another pilot called Glee he remembered Amber and cast her as Mercedes in the new pilot. As the star of one of the top shows on television, doors everywhere are now ajar and Amber is bursting through them. She’s sang the National Anthem at the World Series, traveled the world performing with her fellow gleekers, was nominated for an NAACP Image Award for her role, and is singing her way into hearts with no signs of slowing down. American Idol missed out, but when you got it, you got it, and Amber is right where she belongs– singing with “glee.”