How Glee’s Kevin McHale and Jenna Ushkowitz’s New Project Will Honor Naya Rivera’s Voice

Kevin McHale and Jenna Ushkowitz have revealed in an exclusive interview with E! News the special way they're honoring their former Glee castmate Naya Rivera this holiday season.

By Hayley Santaflorentina Dec 01, 2023 6:51 PMTags
Watch: ‘Glee’ Cast Reveals New Project To Honor Naya Rivera

Fans will soon be able to hear Naya Rivera's voice once again. 

For the past three years Glee alums Kevin McHale and Jenna Ushkowitz have honored their late costar by participating in Snixxmas, an annual event that raises money for Alexandria House, a charity Naya supported during her life. And this year, they've found an extra special way to fundraise by releasing a song Naya had recorded years before her death.

"We got permission to release," Kevin told E! News' Keltie Knight in an exclusive interview, "an unheard and unreleased song Naya recorded in 2012, called 'Prayer for the Broken.'"

Jenna added, "It's just a really special song now that we'll have and that, more importantly, the fans will have to be able to hear her voice again."

And in addition to their work with Snixxmas, many of Naya's fellow Glee actors have taken to social media to share tributes to their former castmate—including a post from Heather Morris on the second anniversary of Naya's passing in July 2022.

Under a couple throwback photos of the two from Glee, Heather wrote, ""Everyday my angel. I miss you every damn day."

Naya Rivera: Life in Pictures

Naya passed away in a drowning accident during a boating trip with her then-4-year-old son, Josey, who she shared with ex-husband Ryan Dorsey, in July 2020.

Earlier this year, Ryan opened up about how Josey, now 8, is doing, sharing how they continue to navigate the tragedy on a day-to-day basis. 

"A lot of the kids find out what his dad does for work. They'll also find out about his mom, which is always something that's tough to navigate," the Yellowstone actor told E! News in March. "It's always a reminder of the obvious. Something that's never going to change is what happened and him having to deal with it daily. As he crosses these milestones as a kid growing up, kids talk about their Moms at school and dealing with his situation is very unique."

Eugene Gologursky / Stringer (Getty Images)

And Ryan, 40, noted Josey has expressed interest in seeing his mom's work.

"He's never going to forget his Mom," the Pitch alum explained. "He's interested in watching things and looking at her work one day. That stuff will speak for itself and he'll really get to appreciate the impact she had on people and how talented she was and who his Mom was on the outside, not just in his home life."

As Josey's grief journey continues, Ryan shared how he helps his son work through the tough questions. 

"I just listen to what he has to say because a lot of the time I don't have any answers," Ryan said. "He'll make statements like, ‘I wish this didn't happen' or ‘Why did this have to happen?' and I just give him a good squeeze and rub his head and kiss him on the cheek and tell him I love him. I put my love onto him and that's all I can really do."

And for some of Josey's cutest moments, keep reading. 

Pre-K Grad

"Fresh outta Pre-K boy!" Naya's ex Ryan Dorsey wrote on Instagram in June 2021. "Next Up Kindergarten! #summertime #proudDad"

Summer 2021 Fun

Naya's ex Ryan Dorsey has a fun pool day with their son in June 2021.

Mother's Day 2021

"We can't say the word happy but we'll say thank you for being a mother & giving me this sweet amazing boy," Naya's ex Ryan Dorsey wrote on Mother's Day 2021, the first since the actress' July 2020 death, alongside this never-before-seen mother-son photo.

Josey & Grammy

"Happy Mother's Day Grammy..." Naya's ex Ryan Dorsey wrote on Instagram on Mother's Day 2021. "Thanks for all the support, unconditional love, all the help, your patience, thoughtfulness, and everything you do. We [red heart emoji] you."

Woof Woof

Naya's ex Ryan Dorsey shared this adorable throwback pic of Josey with their two dogs in March 2021.

Naya's 34th Birthday

In January 2021, Ryan Dorsey paid tribute to his ex on what would have been her 34th birthday with this throwback family photo.

"Just as surreal as it is real that you're gone," he wrote. "If that makes sense, but none of this still makes any sense...34..I could just hear you saying "Ah, I'm old AF now!" Ha...Rest easy old lady..."

Christmas 2020

The two celebrate their first Christmas since Naya's death five months prior.

Tribute to Naya

Naya's ex Ryan Dorsey shared this photo of the late actress and their son, their only child, two weeks after she drowned during a boating trip with the boy.

"This is so unfair...there's not enough words to express the hole left in everyone's hearts," Ryan wrote on Instagram. "I can't believe this is life now. I don't know if I'll ever believe it. You were just here... We were just in the back swimming with Josey the day before. Life just isn't fair."

He continued, "I don't know what to say...I'm thankful for our times and our journey that brought us together and gave us the sweetest and kindest smart little boy we could ever hope for. I remember sometimes you used to get annoyed at me: 'Ryan can you stop snap chatting!' Haha. I'm glad I didn't listen to you because I have hundreds and probably thousands of snaps and videos that Josey will have forever and know his momma loved him more than life, and how much fun we had together as he was growing up. Life is all about good times and bad times but with Josey it makes the bad a little less so because a part of you will always be with us. He'll never forget where he came from. We miss you. We will always love you. Love you Meep."

Father's Day 2020

Naya's ex Ryan Dorsey shared this pic of himself with Josey and one of their dogs, less than three weeks before the actress' death.

New Year's 2020

Naya's ex Ryan Dorsey shared this family pic on New Year's Day 2020, seven months before the actress' death.

Batter Up

"Practice in WalMart makes perfect," Josey's dad Ryan Dorsey wrote on Instagram in November 2019.

Happy Halloween 2019

Josey and dad Ryan Dorsey celebrate Halloween with matching Toy Story costumes.

Happy Halloween 2019 Part 2

Why so ssssserious? The two also dressed up as the Joker and Batman from The Dark Knight.

Cute Cuddles

Just last week, Rivera shared this photo of her cuddling with her little one. "Just the two of us," she captioned the image.


Fashionable Family

The mother-son duo made a stylish pair in this March 2020 photo.

"Perfect Duo"

"Batman and Batgirl," Rivera wrote in November 2019. "Perfect duo."


Birthday Bliss

"I'll love you forever, I'll like you for always, as long as I'm living, my baby you'll be," the Glee star wrote in September 2019. "Happy birthday Josey! Love Mommy."

Movie Night

The two attended the Los Angeles premiere of The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part in February 2019.

Cherished Memories

"Camel ridin with my main man!" Rivera wrote in November 2018.


A Winning Team

"We win!" the celeb, who played Santana on Glee, wrote alongside a photo of their 2018 costumes. "#HappyHalloween."


Lots of Smiles

The two rocked out to "Can't Stop the Feeling" in this adorable March 2018 video.

Sweet Snoozes

"Nap buddies," the proud parent wrote alongside this March 2018 photo.

Tons of Love

"[Love] you to the moon and back," Rivera wrote in February 2017. "#Vday."

Happy Times

"[Every day] with him is the most special. #joseysmommy #happymothersday," she wrote in 2016.


A Picture-Perfect Moment

Rivera shared a behind-the-scenes photo from their Fit Pregnancy and Baby shoot in April 2016.

No. 1 Fan

"Coolin' at Petco Park," Rivera wrote in March 2016.

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