She met the late singer for the first time just this past Thursday:
"I didn't need her to take a picture with me," Riley told me, describing the encounter at a Kelly Price event in Los Angeles. "I didn't need an autograph. The fact that she even acknowledged that I was standing there was enough for me."
Riley actually performs "I Will Always Love You" on Glee this Tuesday. (The show was taped last month and may now turn into a Houston tribute.) She's also performed "I Look to You" on the hit musical series.
"I was very broken up yesterday," Riley said with tears in her eyes. "My dad actually called me and told me. He was like, 'Are you driving because I'll need you to pull over' because he knows how much I love Whitney Houston. It was hard."