Name: Amber Riley
Best known for: Belting out tune after tune on TV as Glee’s Mercedes Jones
Bio: Los Angeles native Amber Riley shot to fame when she was cast in the role of Mercedes Jones in hit musical comedy Glee. Riley was a main cast member for all six seasons of the series, and blew viewers away with her soulful renditions of Respect, And I am Telling You I’m Not Going and Try A Little Tenderness to name but a few.
She famously performed a tribute to Whitney Houston just three days after her death, singing I Will Always Love You in a special episode. The show opened new doors for the young performer who sang the national anthem at the White House with the Obama family and at the 2012 Democratic National Convention before releasing her debut single, Colorblind.
In December 2015 she joined the cast of NBC’s live performance of The Wiz, playing Addaperle, the Good Witch of the North.
And she won America’s Dancing With The Stars in 2013.
She’s currently starring in the West End where she leads the cast of Dreamgirls as Effie White – performing one of the tracks that made her a standout voice among the Glee cast night after night after night.
Riley joins Let It Shine for round one. She’ll make way for Lulu in round two.