Entertainment

Christina Milian Is Replacing Naya Rivera as ‘Collette’ in the Starz Show ‘Step Up’

The producers of the Starz show “Step Up” announced on Monday that they would be recasting the role of Collette, previously played by the late Naya Rivera, with singer-actress Christina Milian.

“Step Up” originally starred Naya Rivera and Ne-Yo as Collette Jones and Sage Odom–business partners and lovers who run the prestigious High Water Performing Arts School in Atlanta.

The series premiered in 2018 on YouTube Red and ran for two seasons before being cancelled. It was renewed and picked up by premium cable channel Starz in May of 2020–just months before Naya Rivera’s tragic drowning in July.

In a statement, Milian acknowledged her predecessor while also expressing joy at being able to take on this new role.

“I am so excited to join the Step Up family,” Milian said. “I know I have massive shoes to fill. Naya was incredible. I hope to honor Naya, her family, friends and fans with a great performance.”

Ne-Yo, who worked closely with Naya Rivera in the previous seasons, also put out a statement praising the legacy of Naya Rivera.

“There is no replacing Naya. Let’s get that straight,” Ne-Yo wrote. “Her spirit lives on in our memories and every part of what this show is and will be.”

He added that Milian has “big shoes to fill” but he was is “certain of her ability to bring an energy and light to this character that Naya’s fans as well as the rest of the world will love.”

He concluded: “We’ve welcomed Christina with absolute open arms and have rallied around her with love and support. I’m excited and can’t wait for the world to see this!”

According to Starz, the decision to recast the character came after careful consideration and consulting with Rivera’s family.

“Naya’s death was a terrible loss to our world that we will, frankly, never stop mourning,” said creator and executive producer Holly Sorensen.

“It was almost impossible to consider there could be someone so graceful and loving who could both help us honor our loss, while also bringing a deep reservoir of talent to our show, in so many areas. Christina is an exceptional human and a dazzling performer and we are so happy she has joined our family.”

Starz will start airing the first two seasons of “Step Up” on their channel starting in early March, when viewers will be able to watch Rivera in one of her final roles.

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Naya Rivera Was Remembered In A Touching Tribute Featuring The Beatles’ ‘Here Comes The Sun’ By Demi Lovato

Entertainment

Naya Rivera Was Remembered In A Touching Tribute Featuring The Beatles’ ‘Here Comes The Sun’ By Demi Lovato

FOX

Months have passed with quite a few additional ups and downs but Demi Lovato hasn’t forgotten about her late friend and former Glee costar, Naya Rivera. Five months after Rivera’s body was found following a disappearance during a boating trip with her son, Lovato paid a tribute to the actress on Instagram.

In a post shared to her Instagram story on Sunday, the “Sorry Not Sorry” singer, remembered Rivera in a video.

Demi Lovato/ Instagram

Lovato shared a video of the gleaming sun while she was on a hike and captioned the video “Miss You [Naya Rivera].” In a reference to a song that Lovato sang with Rivera, the singer played a clip of The Beatles’ “Here Comes the Sun” in the background.

Lovato and Rivera’s characters (Dani and Santana Lopez) fell in love after singing “Here Comes the Sun” during a shift at a diner in the fifth season of the musical drama series.

Rivera’s body was found in Lake Piru in Ventura County, California on July 13.

Her body was found five days after she disappeared during a boat excursion with her 5-year-old son Josey. Soon after Rivera was found, Lovato reflected on her costar writing that she would “forever cherish” her role as Rivera’s girlfriend on the series.

“RIP Naya Rivera. I’ll forever cherish the opportunity to play your girlfriend on Glee,” Lovato wrote on Instagram at the time. “The character you played was groundbreaking for tons of closeted queer girls (like me at the time) and open queer girls, and your ambition and accomplishments were inspiring to Latina women all over the world.”

“My heart goes out to your loved ones at this time.. ❤️🕊,” she wrote at the end of her caption.

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‘Glee’ Stars Honor The Memory Of Naya Rivera In A Way The Star Would Have Loved

Entertainment

‘Glee’ Stars Honor The Memory Of Naya Rivera In A Way The Star Would Have Loved

Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images

It’s been five months since the tragic and untimely death of Glee star, Naya Rivera. Her death sent shockwaves across the world and left a gaping hole in the close-knit Glee cast.

Now, as the holidays are approaching, members from Glee are honoring her giving spirt by throwing a fundraiser in her honor to help those that Rivera truly cared about and helped through donations and volunteer work while she was still alive.

Naya Rivera’s giving holiday spirit is being kept alive by Glee cast members, who launched a charity drive in her honor.

A GoFundMe page was set up December 4 to raise money for Alexandria House, a non-profit that was close to Rivera’s heart. The Los Angeles non-profit provides safe and supportive housing for women and children in the process of moving from emergency shelter to permanent housing.

“The connection I feel with [Alexandria House] and the people who reside and work there has been the biggest blessing and made such a huge positive impact on myself and my son. We truly have found a home away from home through the time we spend volunteering there,” Naya Rivera said a few months before her death. 

Kevin McHale, Heather Morris, Jane Lynch, Matthew Morrison, Jenna Ushkowitz, Dianna Agron and Chris Colfer, are among Rivera’s co-stars promoting the charity drive. 

Rivera used to throw an annual Christmas party and toy drive, which she dubbed Snixxmas.

“If you were lucky enough to know Naya, you know she threw some epic parties,” the page read. “Snixxmas was like Naya herself… sparkling, fabulous and one hell of a good time! But it wasn’t only glitz, glamour and gay apparel. Every holiday season, Naya found ways to give back.”

This will be the first Christmas without Rivera. 

“Now more than ever it’s important that we keep the Snixxmas Spirit alive. We won’t be able to throw a big, fabulous party this year, but that doesn’t mean we can’t give back. We will be making a donation in Naya’s name to Alexandria House,” reads the GoFundMe page. 

And the fundraiser would make Rivera proud as it’s truly helping those in need.

The page had an original goal of $50k, which was met in less than a day. The page has upped their goal to $100k and as of now has raised $78.5k.

The Snixxmas team encourages supporters that are unable to give a financial donation to “follow Naya’s lead” and donate their time. 

 “Find a local charity whose mission speaks to you and aligns with your beliefs and lend a hand this season. Start a toy drive in your community! Do what you can do to make a difference.”

The GoFundMe page included a message from Rivera’s family at the end:

“We are forever grateful to Naya‘s friends and colleagues for having the desire to put such a beautiful fundraiser together. Everyone will always be remembered and loved by her entire family. Naya loved Christmas and we are pleased to know that her Christmas parties left a lasting impression on all of our lives. This fundraiser is an extension of Naya’s love for families, children, and holidays. To honor her in this manner is evidence that her love for others is endlessly alive. On behalf of Naya and her son Josey, the family would like to donate items from her Jojo & Izzy clothing line. We appreciate all who continue to shine Naya’s love and light.”

The Glee actress accidentally drowned while out on a lake day with her 5-year-old son, Josey, in July of this year. 

Rivera’s death sent shockwaves throughout the world. Her tragic death left a gaping hole in many of our hearts who came to love her from her portrayal of strong, queer characters – especially her performance on Glee.

Her body was found in Lake Piru, which is located outside of Los Angeles. She and her son had rented a boat for a day out on the lake but hours after renting the boat, authorities found her son alone in the boat and Rivera nowhere to be found. According to officials, the son said that he and Rivera went for a swim and that she didn’t get back on the boat. CNN reports that the child was wearing a life vest while an adult life vest was found on the boat.

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