Glee cast reunite to pay tribute to Naya Rivera with Demi Lovato
9 April 2021, 12:49 | Updated: 9 April 2021, 17:12
The Glee cast and Demi Lovato came together at the GLAAD Awards to honour the life and impact of Naya Rivera.
The Glee cast have reunited to speak about their late cast member Naya Rivera and her impact on the LGBTQ+ community.
Yesterday (Apr 8), the GLAAD Awards included a segment dedicated to Naya Rivera and the ways in which her performance as Santana in Glee helped so many people. Demi Lovato introduced the tribute. She said: "I don’t have to tell you that this year was a tough, tough year. A particular moment of heartbreak stands out for me: losing my friend Naya Rivera."
She then added: "I will always cherish the chance I got to play Naya’s girlfriend, Dani, on Glee. The character Naya played, Santana Lopez, was ground-breaking for closeted queer girl - like I was at the time. Her ambition and accomplishments inspired Latina women all over the world."
Naya's former co-stars then reunited to each pay their respects to Naya and open up about how much she meant to them.
The tribute included words from Alex Newell, Amber Riley, Becca Tobin, Chris Colfer, Darren Criss, Dot-Marie Jones, Harry Shum Jr., Heather Morris, Jacob Artist, Jane Lynch, Jessalyn Gilsig, Jenna Ushkowitz, Kevin McHale, Lauren Potter, Matthew Morrison and Vanessa Lengies.
During the virtual reunion, Matthew said: "Naya and I were good friends on the show but I think we became much better friends when we both had children. To see her put all that energy into her son was just an incredible sight to see, and something I’ll always remember."
Jenna then added: "Her best role was her being a mom. That was the most fulfilling, to see her do that."
The cast of Glee reunited at the #GLAADawards for a special tribute to Naya Rivera and the legacy of Naya’s character Santana Lopez. The tribute honors the ten-year anniversary of Santana’s coming out. pic.twitter.com/dmFuYKBEhr— GLAAD (@glaad) April 9, 2021
Jessalyn also read out a personal note from Naya's mother, Yolanda Previtire, that read: "Her desire was to always be an advocate to those who did not have a voice. I don’t believe that she realized how important she was to this world. I am grateful that my eldest daughter helped to change the landscape of how we view and see each other."