The FOX hit musical drama series Glee which ran from 2009 to 2015 was responsible for bringing to the limelight a number of burgeoning entertainers and Amber Riley happened to be one of them. Amber has done well to solidify her place in the limelight since the show came to end. She pursues a dual career as an actor and singer with the musical theatre supergroup Leading Ladies. We take you through all the things there are to know about this talented star including facts about selected aspects of her private life.
All You Need To Know About Amber Riley
Amber Patrice Riley celebrates her birthday every 15th day of February. She was born in 1986 in Los Angeles, California. Her family includes parents; Elwin Riley and Tiny Riley (née Hightower). She is the last daughter of her family having two older sisters named Toyia and Ashley. She attended La Mirada High School in La Mirada, California from where she graduated in 2004.
Amber Riley hails from a musical family with her mother being a gospel music singer. From a young age, Riley aspired to sing professionally. She’d sing occasional backup vocals at clubs and other events for fun.
However, when Riley took her first big step to become the star she dreamed of, she was turned down. It was at the 2002 season of American Idol. She was 17 years old at the time and the producers turned her down. It was a huge setback for the aspiring star as she had the thought of not being good enough. However, thanks to her mother who kept cheering her on, Amber Riley found the strength to remain undeterred.
She had been working at Ikea as a customer service rep but quit in order to pursue her show business career. Her next decision was to dabble in acting as she thought it would give her the platform to showcase her strong vocals. Looking back, SHE WAS RIGHT!
She filmed for the pilot episode of St. Sass which unfortunately was unsold. Amber Riley then heard from a friend about an ongoing audition for Glee which was a search for an African American young girl who could sing. She showed up, wowed the producers and landed the main role of Mercedes Jones and the rest is history.
Glee would become very successful, propelling Riley and her fellow castmates to stardom. Amber Riley showed she got dancing skills in addition to singing and acting when she became the first African-American woman to win Dancing with the Stars. She competed in the 17th season in 2013 with Derek Hough as her partner. Her role in Glee earned her a SAG Award.
Amber Riley began acting in theater in 2012 making her debut in a Cotton Club Parade at the New York City Center, Off-Broadway. Her biggest stage role so far has been as Effie White in the 2016 West End debut of Dreamgirls. For the role, she won the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Musical.
Riley made her film debut in Tyler Perry‘s 2018 romcom, Nobody’s Fool.
Amber Riley is living her dream. Her success in the industry is another proof that tenacity would always pay off. It is not public, the exact amount she earned per episode of Glee, however, credible sources have pegged her net worth at over $2 million. Riley bolsters her show business earnings with the proceeds of the plus-size online clothing boutique, Rileyland Fashions which she started with her sister, Ashley in 2014.
Amber Riley was a skinny kid but began adding weight later in life. However, she never let the change in her body weight make her feel less of herself as she remained very confident. Riley decided to drop some pounds, not because of self-image issues but because of health reasons.
Upon a visit to her doctor in July 2011 after she felt stomach pains, she was advised to stop eating junk as they were hurting her stomach. The doctor also adviced that she become deliberate about living healthier, that was when Riley decided to do away with pastries and other junk foods which were her favorite.
Adding exercise routine to the junk boycott had Amber Riley looking visibly trimmed in less than 8 months. She had dropped two dress sizes by February 2012.
Up next, Amber decided to compete in the 17th season of Dancing with the Stars in order to keep fit as well as improve her dance moves. During her winner’s speech, Amber spoke about the negative comments she kept getting from the viewers about her weight. While some wondered how someone her size could dance, others commented that she danced well for someone with her size.
Amber Riley in her winner’s speech went on to motivate women of plus size to do whatever they put their mind to. Riley has done well to keep a healthy weight since then. She constantly flaunts her trimmed figure across her social media pages.