Amber Riley, a multifaceted talent renowned for her acting, singing, and authorship, has garnered numerous awards for her exceptional performances in Glee, Dreamgirls, and Dancing with the Stars. Now, let’s delve into the personal side of this star and explore the identity of Amber Riley’s mother.

Tiny Hightower: A Celebrity Mother

Amber Riley’s mother is Tiny Hightower, a notable figure in the celebrity sphere, who raised her three daughters in Los Angeles, California. Tiny was married to Elwin Riley, a former security guard, for an extended period, and together they had three daughters: Toiya, Ashley, and Amber.¹

From a young age, Tiny Hightower actively supported her daughters’ aspirations and dreams. Notably, she encouraged Amber to audition for American Idol at the age of 17, despite Amber facing rejection from the producers.² Undeterred by setbacks, Tiny continued to motivate Amber to pursue her passion for singing and acting.

Throughout Amber’s journey in her career and personal life, Tiny Hightower stood as a pillar of support. She provided comfort and guidance during challenging times, including instances of bullying, racism, and body-shaming. Additionally, Tiny was there for Amber when her engagement to Desean Black ended in 2022.¹

A Proud and Loving Mother

Tiny Hightower, a devoted and proud mother, wholeheartedly celebrates her daughter’s accomplishments and significant moments. Demonstrating her admiration and gratitude, she frequently shares pictures and videos of Amber on her social media platforms.

One notable instance was when Amber received the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Musical for her portrayal of Effie White in Dreamgirls in 2017. Tiny Hightower took to Instagram to express her emotions with a heartfelt message:

“Words cannot express how proud I am of this young lady right here!!! My baby girl @msamberpriley won the Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Musical!!!! God is so good!!! Thank you to everyone who voted for her, supported her, prayed for her!! You are all amazing!! Amber, you are a shining star, and I love you so much!! Congratulations baby girl!! You did it!!” ³

Tiny Hightower actively attends many of Amber’s events and performances, offering enthusiastic support from the audience. Notable instances include accompanying Amber to the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards, where she performed with the Glee cast, and witnessing Amber sing the national anthem at the 2012 Democratic National Convention. ²

A Role Model for Amber

Tiny Hightower, beyond being a supportive and proud mother, serves as a role model for Amber Riley, imparting valuable lessons in resilience, confidence, and kindness.

Amber expressed in an interview that her mother, Tiny Hightower, instilled in her the importance of embracing her uniqueness and not allowing others to define her worth. She shared:

“My mom always taught me to be myself. She always told me that I’m beautiful no matter what anyone else says. She always told me that I have something special to offer the world.” ⁴

Amber attributes to Tiny Hightower the inspiration to utilize her voice and platform for positive change, stating:

“My mom always taught me to speak up for what I believe in and to stand up for others who can’t. She always taught me to be compassionate and empathetic. She always taught me to be a leader and not a follower.” ⁴


Tiny Hightower, the mother of Amber Riley, stands as a prominent figure of unwavering support, love, and inspiration for Amber. As a mother of three successful daughters, Tiny Hightower deserves recognition and appreciation for being the driving force behind the star.