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Parade

Amber Riley Dishes on 'Glee' Season 4 and Her Upcoming Album

Amber Riley was 15 when she was struck by a first year driver.

"I still have the scar," the Glee actress tells Parade.com. That experience inspired her to work with State Farm's teen driving safety campaign Celebrate My Drive.

"I think it's great they're taking a more positive spin on learning how to drive. It's really about celebrating the road ahead and getting that license. People can actually win a car. It teaches teens to be responsible and take driving seriously but at the same time it's about celebrating that milestone."

Read on for more with Riley like what to expect from the new season of Glee and her upcoming album:

On singing the National Anthem at the Democratic National Convention.
"It was probably [the most nerve-wracking moment]! I was relieved when it was over. I was really excited to do it but it's so easy to forget those words. And when you're so nervous, it doesn't matter how many times you rehearse it, you can still forget. It was such a privilege and it was something monumental I'll always remember."

On hitting Broadway in 'Cotton Club Parade.'

"I've always loved the stage and I can actually sing in this one. It's in the era around Duke Ellington and Etta James. It's that era of music I absolutely love. I always say I was born in the wrong year."

On her new album.
"I've been taking my time and I really wanted to give it my focus. There is no release date yet but I'm having fun recording. It's a big dream of mine and I can't wait for everyone to hear what I've been doing."

Will she duet with co-star Naya Rivera?
"That was just an idea! It was like 'oh, that would be fun!' It's not like an on-paper type thing. [The album] is definitely going to be R&B. That's the music I love to the core."

On Mercedes' story line.
"When the show comes back, we left with Mercedes going to college. She's now a background singer so we'll see how she's been doing in L.A. I have no idea [about her romantic life]! There is no indication what it is at all yet."

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