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Naya Rivera

Lea Michele Honored Naya Rivera On Anniversary Of Her Death -- Plus More Glee Cast Tributes

naya rivera, lea michele : glee cast pays tribute on anniversary of her death

The cast of Glee rallied around Naya Rivera’s memory on the first anniversary of her passing — yes, even, Lea Michele.

While Naya was in the entertainment business for most of her life, Glee was the show that catapulted her to stardom. The juggernaut series launched a lot of careers, and also formed friendships that lasted long after the series concluded… as well as a rivalry that was never put to bed before the 33-year-old’s death in July 2020.

Related: Naya’s Mother & Sister Reflect On ‘Hell On Earth’ Of Her Loss One Year Later

As you may recall, Lea was not the most popular cast member, particularly last summer. She had just recently been raked over the coals for alleged racism and bullying on set when Naya passed, and while she paid tribute to her former co-star on Instagram, she didn’t participate in the GLAAD tribute with the rest of the cast.

On Tuesday, however, for the one-year anniversary of her death, the Broadway alum posted another quiet IG Story tribute: a black-and-white still from Santana’s performance of Don’t Rain On My Parade, captioned with a dove emoji.

naya rivera, lea michele : instagram story tribute
(c) Lea Michele/Instagram

It’s an interesting choice to highlight that particular performance, as it was emblematic of the actresses’ rivalry both on- and offscreen. In the show, Santana taking on Rachel’s signature song was a twist of the knife in their “Frenemies” (as the episode was titled) relationship. At the same time, their real life friendship “started to break down” as Santana became a bigger character; by the following season, Lea “didn’t say a word” to Naya for the entirety of filming, according to the latter’s memoir Sorry Not Sorry. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like the women were ever able to mend fences before her death.

Related: Tahj Mowry Reflects On How Loving & Losing Naya Changed Him

But Lea wasn’t the only Glee cast member remembering the momma of one on Thursday. Someone who was her BFF on TV and IRL, Heather Morris, got a tattoo in her honor, which read “tomorrow is not promised.” She wrote on her IG:

“It hasn’t gotten easier to write a caption. You are the brightest star in my eyes Naya Rivera. I’m so grateful GOD LAYED A HAND and brought us together as best friends, mom friends, scene partners, and everything in between. Your legacy lives on in kindness and being ‘that sassy queen’ in my eyes. I love you forever bebe girl”

heather morris : naya rivera tattoo tribute
(c) Heather Morris/Instagram

So sweet. We continue to remember Naya’s family, friends and fans on this difficult anniversary.

Scroll for more tributes from Kevin McHale, Jenna Ushkowitz, Amber Riley and more:

[Image via B.Dowling/DJDM/WENN/Brian To/HRC]

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Jul 09, 2021 10:50am PDT