BlackVoices.com spoke to the self-proclaimed "church girl" who talked about the popularity of 'Glee,' which artists she'd love to guest star on the show and her own upcoming music endeavors.
'Glee' has become a pop culture phenomenon. What's the most overwhelming part of it?
Probably the attention you get in general is overwhelming. There are so many different emotions you feel when you find this type of success -- disbelief, excitement, fear and anxiety. Mainly, I am overjoyed with living my dream.
'Glee' offers the best of both worlds: music and acting. Which one is your first love?
Music was my first love because it was the first gift that I realized I had, but acting and singing go hand and hand. When I'm on stage, I become whatever character I need to be to relay the message in the song I'm singing.
Chaka Khan, because she is one of my vocal idols. Beyoncé, because she has so much music it would be like a musical smorgasbord -- so many different genres of songs. Sara Vaughan, because we've never really done a blues and jazz tribute, and she's one of my favorite voices to listen to.
You've become a fashion icon in a short time -- even being named Best Dressed at the SAG Awards by Joan Rivers' 'Fashion Police.' As a full-figured woman, how does that make you feel?
It makes me feel amazing. I'm a plus-sized girl, but I know how to dress myself and I know what looks good on me. With the character I play, I feel there is a lot of responsibility and I'm okay with being a role model. I think that recognition made a lot of girls feel like they can be beautiful and confident no matter what size or color they are.
'Glee' is opening up a lot of doors for you. What types of projects would you like to work on outside of the show?
I am currently working toward doing an album. I am really excited and nervous, but this is my dream and I've waited to go for it my whole life. I just pray the world loves it.
- Amber Riley Tears it Up in March Issue of Essence
- Get Amber Riley's Look for Less
- Amber, Naya, And Rosario Go Glam For The 2011 SAG Awards