Amber Riley - Biography

Last Modified: Nov 14, 2022

Amber Riley
Nick Name: Mama A
Profession: Actor, Singer
Best Known For: Glee (TV series)
Salary: Under Review
Net Worth: $2 million

Personal Details

Born on : February 15, 1986 (age 38)
Birth Name /
Full Name:
Amber Patrice Riley
Birth Place: Los Angeles, California, USA
Horoscope: Aquarius
Father's Name: Elwin Riley
Mother's Name: Tiny Hightower
Siblings: 2

Toiya Riley (older sister)
Ashley Riley (older sister)

High School: La Mirada High School
Ethnicity: African-American
Nationality: American


Sexual Orientation: Straight
Marital Status: Single

Body Measurements

Height: 1.68 meter (5 feet 6 inch)
Weight: N/A
Hair Color: Dark Brown
Eye Color: Black
Shoe Size: N/A
Dress Size: N/A
Breast Size: N/A
Waist Size: N/A
Hip Size: N/A
Bra Size: N/A
Cup Size: N/A

Table of contents [Hide]

Who is Amber Riley?

Amber Riley, also known as RILEY, is an actress, singer, author by profession, and American by nationality. She is well known for starring in the Fox comedy-drama series Glee as Mercedes Jones and winning season 17 of Dancing with the Stars.

Amber Riley – Age, Parents, Siblings

Amber Riley’s birth took in Los Angeles, California, USA on February 15, 1986. Her full name is Amber Patrice Riley and she is known mononymously as RILEY. Her mother is named Tiny Hightower and her father is named Elwin Riley. Her parents raised her alongside her two siblings- older sisters Toiya and Ashley.

Amber Riley in her school yearbook (Image: Pinterest)

Education, Ethnicity

For education, Amber Riley attended La Mirada High School in La Mirada, California. She graduated from the same in 2004. Her ethnicity is African-American.

Amber Riley – Boyfriend, Husband, Children

After rising to fame in 2008, Amber Riley has been in a relationship with Kevin McHale and Kevin McHale. 

In November 2020 she announced that she is now engaged to her boyfriend Desean Black. She also showed off her engagement ring given by her soon-to-be husband on social media. However, the pair never married and separated in April 2022. They did not have children together.

Amber Riley, Desean Black (Image: Instagram)

Amber Riley – Career

Early Days

Riley was 17 years old when she auditioned for American Idol but was short-lived as she was turned down by the producers. Her breakthrough came in 2008 as she was cast as Mercedes Jones on the comedy-drama television series Glee (2009 – 2015). She was the main character in the series from seasons 1 through 4 and 6 while was a recurring character in season 5.

Films, Series

Over the years Amber Riley has starred in the films Glee: The 3D Concert Movie (2011), Nobody's Fool (2018), Infamous (2020), and in the TV films My One Christmas Wish (2015), Straight Outta Oz (2016). She also has had guest roles in the TV series Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (2016), and A Black Lady Sketch Show (2019).

Moreover, Riley has competed in season 17 of Dancing with the Stars, which she also won, having been paired with Derek Hough. She has also starred in the theatre plays Cotton Club Parade (2012), Hair (2014), Little Shop of Horrors (2019), and Broadway's Dreamgirls (2016 – 2017) as Effie White.

Amber Riley and Derek Hough in DWTS (Image: Parade)

Albums, Singles

In addition to her acting career, Amber Riley has also worked in her singing career. Her EP RILEY was released on October 2, 2020. She also has released five singles throughout the years.


On the set of Glee, Riley has worked with Chris Colfer, Matthew Morrison, Mark Salling, Kevin McHale, and Darren Criss.

Amber Riley – Awards, Nominations

Amber Riley has earned nominations for three Teen Choice Awards, three NAACP Image Awards, Grammy Awards (2011), and Classic Brit Awards (2018).  The awards she has won include Screen Actors Guild Award (2010), Olivier Award (2017), Evening Standard Award (2017), etc.

Amber Riley on Glee (Image: Deseret News)

Amber Riley – Net Worth, Salary

The net worth of Amber Riley is around $2 million while the figure on her annual income/salary is under review.

Amber Riley – Instagram, Twitter, Facebook

Amber Riley is active on social media sites including Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook with millions of followers.

Fact Check

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Tags : Amber Riley Glee Mercedes Jones actress singer author


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