Amber Riley graduated from La Mirada Roadhouse High School. She initially auditioned for American Idol, but was turned down by the producers. Her first on-screen role was in the 2002 TV movie St. Sass. Her biggest break came when she joined the TV series Glee, in 2009; her character, diva-in-the-making Mercedes Jones, is known for her soulful vocal performances.
- Screen Actors Guild Award, Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series, 2010 (for Glee)