|Birth Date||15 February 1986|
|Hometown||Los Angeles, California|
|Known For||Glee actress|
|Highest Score|| 30 (Group Freestyle, Charleston,|
Freestyle & Quickstep/Samba Fusion)
|Lowest Score||24 (Jive & Charleston)|
Amber Riley was born in Los Angeles, California, the daughter of Tiny (née Hightower) and Elwin Riley. Riley auditioned for American Idol when she was seventeen years old, during the show's second season, but was turned down by the producers. She graduated from La Mirada High School in La Mirada, California in 2004.
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 its first four seasons. She was demoted to a recurring guest star status starting with the fifth season. She performed numerous solos on the show, including "Respect", "Bust Your Windows", "Hate on Me", "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going", "Beautiful", "Bridge over Troubled Water", "I Look to You", "Hell to the No", "Ain't No Way", "Try a Little Tenderness", "Spotlight", "All I Want for Christmas Is You" and, three days after Whitney Houston's death, performed a tribute version of "I Will Always Love You". She also played Dr. Frank-N-Furter in the episode "The Rocky Horror Glee Show", singing the lead on the song "Sweet Transvestite" to generally positive reviews from critics. For her role as Mercedes Jones, she won a Screen Actors Guild Award and received nominations for an NAACP Image Award and a Teen Choice Award.
Riley appeared at the 2010 MTV VMAs, sang the national anthem at the 2012 Democratic National Convention, and is currently working on a debut solo studio album. She also co-wrote a track titled "Leave a Light On" for British group The Saturdays which is featured on their album Living for the Weekend. Riley's debut single "Colorblind" premiered live 3 April 2014, on The Queen Latifah Show. The song was written by Emeli Sandé, Claude Kelly and Steve Mac, and was released as a digital download 8 April 2014. The song was also performed by Riley on Glee.
In 2015 Amber announced that she would star in a Christmas TV movie, her first movie role and her first acting role since Glee. She also played Addaperle, the Good Witch of the North in NBC's live performance of The Wiz.
In 2011, Riley acted as a campaign spokesperson for Do Something and VH1 Save The Music Foundation's second annual Battle for the Bands. Riley starred in a PSA campaign and engaged fans through social media to participate in the campaign that mobilized young people in the fight for keeping music education in schools. Riley has also teamed up with State Farm's Celebrate My Drive campaign to advocate safe awareness for Beginner Drivers, and Encouragement for youth.
Dancing with the Stars 17
In 2013, Riley won the seventeenth season of ABC's Dancing with the Stars, and was partnered with the show's one and only five-time champion, Derek Hough. Riley and Hough tied the record for highest first-week score of 27, received five perfect scores of 30, and only received a score lower than 8 one time. Riley is the first African-American woman to win Dancing with the Stars (although Melissa Rycroft is part African-American).
|Week #||Dance/song||Judges' score||Result|
|5||Foxtrot/"Try a Little Tenderness"||9||7||10||Safe|
|6||Samba/"Get It Right"|
|7||Paso Doble/"Diablo Rojo"|
Group Dance Freestyle/"The Fox (What Does the Fox Say?)"
|8||Rumba/"If I Could Turn Back Time"||9||92||10||Safe (Immunity)|
|9||Quickstep/"That's It!" |
Salsa (Trio challenge)3/"Que Viva la Vida"
|Jazz/"Locked Out of Heaven"|
Viennese Waltz/"Locked Out of Heaven" (Acoustic Version)
|Charleston/"Bang Bang" |
Samba relay/"No Scrubs"
Freestyle/"Can You Do This"
|Quickstep & Samba (Fusion)/"(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher"||10||10||10||Won|
4 Scores from guest judge Maksim Chmerkovskiy.
- Amber is the first African-American woman to win Dancing with the Stars (although Melissa Rycroft is part African-American).
- Amber is the first Glee star to compete.