Amber Riley (Mercedes Jones on Glee) gets dolled up for YRB Magazine photoshoot. In the issue, the multi talented Amber talked about her audition expierence, secrets on singing such big songs, and feelings on being rejected from American Idol.

Check out more pictures and excerpts from the feature below:

On auditioning for Glee:
“A friend of my friend was friends with a casting director and looking for a girl who could sing. I still don’t know who that friend was. She said they need a really great singer. They want a black girl. She has to really sing, really belt it out. I told her, ‘I’m not a belter. I know I have a strong voice, but I’m not a belter by nature.’ I just thought to myself, ‘Forget it. I’ll just go on the audition.’”

Secret to successfully covering “tough-to-get-the-notes-right songs”:
“Whenever I sing, I just love music so much, I go to a totally different place,” she said. “The only times I’ve ever gotten nervous – like I want to throw up – is when I sang the National Anthem at the (2009) World Series, when I sang on and when I sang at the White House. Being on camera and singing, though, I’m not nervous. The crew is a great audience. I sing to them.”

On American Idol rejection:
“I am really glad they told me no, because maybe if they hadn’t, I never would have strived for my full potential or reached my full potential. I might have rested on my laurels,” she says, offering advice to others striving to make their dreams come true. “The best advice I can give is just be focused, be sure about what you want and don’t let anyone tell you no, you can’t do it. Don’t let that deter you.” – Article