"I was raised on country music my entire life and it's what I love more than anything in the world."
Canadian Idol isn't Amber Fleury's first national television appearance. Amber appeared on The Tommy Hunter Show when she was just 10-years-old. "When we got to Toronto, I was treated like a real star," she says. "It was amazing!" Born in Dauphin, Manitoba, Amber's parents discovered that she could carry a tune when she was just two. By the time she was five, she was performing in front of audiences and "addicted to music for life."
After winning a singing competition at the age of 13, Amber recorded a CD and sang professionally across Western Canada before stopping to become a paralegal at a prestigious Calgary law firm. "Even though singing is my passion, I made a wise choice in going to college," she says. "It's made me a better and more well-grounded person."
A graduate of Southern Alberta Institute of Technology, Amber describes herself as "a geek to the core." She likes karaoke and Nintendo. She's a "pretty good" 8-ball player, enjoys golf and curling, and has been known to yodel every now and then. Amber loves lasagna, the Calgary Flames and Jack and Bobby.
Although raised on country, Amber likes all types of music, from Abba to Celine Dion to CCR and Nazareth. The song title that best describes her? Everything I Do, I Do it For You. "No matter what happens in life, I will always be there for my family and friends," she says.
Amber's fun facts:
Which musical act would you most like to see in concert? Celine Dion
What has been the biggest accomplishment of your life?
The biggest accomplishment of my life was being granted the opportunity to record a CD at age 13. I won a country music competition in Edmonton, Alberta and the prize was to record a CD and music video!
What are you the most proud of?
I'm most proud of the fact that I went to college and got a diploma. Even though singing is my passion in life, I made a wise choice in having a back-up plan and it's made me a better and more well-grounded person.
Which item could you not live without?
My favorite pillow that my mom got me for Christmas when I was 18. It's pretty worn out, but it puts me to sleep every night!
What's been the best day of your life?
The day I found out that I made the Top 32 for Canadian Idol!
If you could meet one person, living or dead, who would it be and why?
I'd like to meet both of my grandmothers…Eleanore and Irene…they both passed away before I was born. I would have liked to have known them because I hear from my parents that they were both wonderful people who would have been very proud of all of their grandchildren.
What do you think has gotten you this far in the competition?
I think that my determination to succeed has been the main factor in getting me this far in the competition. I have demonstrated in several ways that singing is my passion in life, mainly by being determined to better myself as an individual and a performer. I try to stay as grounded as I possibly can and really focus on my performances. That helps me keep my nerves in check.
What will it take for you to become the Canadian Idol?
It will take a lot of determination and will. I've wanted a professional career in music since I was 5 years old. I still remember the first time I got on a stage and sang with my dad! The feeling was indescribable! When I saw the looks on all the faces in the audience, I knew that music was the path I was born to follow in life.
What has been the most challenging part of the competition so far?
For me, it was the group performances during the Top 100 week in Toronto. I was most afraid of that part of the competition because I've only ever sang with one other person. I had two great partners, though, which made it a lot easier than I ever imagined. We had fun on stage and that was the main thing!
Whose career path would you like to follow and why?
I would like to follow Celine Dion's career path, because she is someone who inspires me to stay grounded and really focus on the important things in life. She is one of the most successful Canadian artists of our time and she still manages to lead this wonderful life full of love and admiration for the people in her life who mean the most to her! She never forgets who helped her get where she is today and I plan to be the exact same way.
What part of the Canadian Idol experience has surprised you the most?
The Top 100 week, because I had no idea what to expect at all! It was so much more work than I ever imagined, but it was awesome! Probably the best experience I've ever had! I learned a lot!
What did you learn about yourself during the Top 100?
I learned that I had a lot more stamina than I thought! All those late nights of practicing and learning songs made me realize that if I really want a career in the music industry, I need to be strong and energetic! It takes a lot more than just talent.
What was your reaction when you made the Top 32?
I bawled like a baby and gave everybody around me huge hugs!
Who has been the greatest inspiration of your life?
My mother has been my greatest inspiration in life. She is supportive of me no matter what I do and she's always there to give me the best possible advice. She is probably the strongest person I've ever known. She has the kindest heart in the world and she loves me unconditionally.
Who has helped to make you the singer you are today?
Various people have helped me along the way. My dad has been the biggest musical influence in my life. He has always inspired me to be the best I can be and has always had faith in me. Can't forget to mention the fact that he taught me how to yodel! Don't worry, I won't be yodeling during the competition…promise!!! I wouldn't be the person I am today if it weren't for my family believing in me.
What song touches you the most? Why does it affect you so much?
"I Can't Make You Love Me" by Bonnie Raitt. I have had a lot of bad luck in love. That is why this song really hits home for me. I sing it from the heart because I concentrate on the lyrics as I'm singing it. It's just a great song that I think a lot of people can relate to.
What do you do to keep your nerves in check during the competition?
I take deep breaths and try to think about the positive things about the upcoming performance. I don't concentrate on what could possibly go wrong.
How has this competition changed you?
This competition has made me a better performer and has caused me to open up to new people and experiences.
Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
"It'll never happen again…I promise!"