Amber Patrice Riley (born February 15, 1986) is an American actress, singer-songwriter, and philanthropist, best known for her portrayal of Mercedes Jones on the Fox television series Glee. She is also known for winning season 17 of Dancing with the Stars.
Amber Riley was born in Los Angeles, California, the daughter of Tiny (née Hightower) and Elwin Riley. She also has two older sisters, Toyia and Ashley, and a niece, Teonie. Riley auditioned for American Idol when she was 17 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 January 2014, Riley and her sister Ashley launched a Plus-size online Clothing Boutique, “Rileyland Fashions”. She also models the clothing fashion
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.