Glee Cast Is Reuniting to Honor Naya Rivera at 2021 GLAAD Media Awards

Less than a year after Naya Rivera was confirmed dead at California's Lake Piru, the star is being honored in a special way at the upcoming 2021 GLAAD Media Awards. Get the details below.

By Alyssa Morin Mar 24, 2021 2:00 PMTags
Watch: Naya Rivera's "Glee" Costars Celebrate Her 34th Birthday

Naya Rivera's legacy continues to live on.

The 33-year-old actress, who was confirmed dead in July 2020 after a five-day search for her body at Lake Piru in California, will be honored in a special way at the 2021 GLAAD Media Awards on Thursday, April 8.

To celebrate Naya's work, the ceremony is bringing the Glee cast together, including Chris Colfer, Darren Criss, Jane Lynch, Kevin McHale, Heather Morris, Matthew Morrison, Amber Riley, Harry Shum Jr., Jenna Ushkowitz, Alex Newell, Vanessa Lengies, Becca Tobin, and Jacob Artist.

The special tribute will spotlight the powerful impact of Naya's Glee character, Santana Lopez, while also paying homage to the 10th anniversary of Santana coming out on the hit Fox series. As Gleeks will know, the late star's character was beloved for showing both Latinx and LGBTQ+ representation on television.

Demi Lovato, who played Santana's girlfriend on the show, will introduce the Glee cast, as well as the special.

Naya Rivera's Best Glee Performances

Come April, Niecy Nash will take center stage and host the star-studded affair. Viewers can expect to see a spectacular lineup of guests, including, Matt BomerBob The Drag Queen, Sterling K. Brown, Laverne Cox, Dan Levy, Katy Perry, JoJo Siwa, Sam Smith and many others.

At this time, other details of Naya's GLAAD tribute have yet to be shared. It's also unknown if her family will be part of the special at the event. She is survived by her 5-year-old son Josey Dorsey, along with her parents, Yolanda and George Rivera, and her siblings, Nickayla and Mychal Rivera.

Taylor Jewell/Invision/AP/Shutterstock

However, if the Glee cast is reuniting in her honor, fans can expect it to be extra meaningful.

Following the actress' death last July, her co-stars shared heartwarming messages about working with her and how they would continue to keep her memory alive.

"I think that one of the things that kind of got lost when we were doing the show was what a force she was because there were so many talented people," Jane Lynch told Jenna Bush Hager in August. "She was one of those people—she wasn't in every scene, but when she was…she just blew everybody away."

Last July, Heather Morris promised to do something in Naya's honor—no matter how big or small.

"The messages are going to trickle out. But you're still here with me. And I'm not done remembering your legacy," she shared at the time. "You would tell me ‘you look so skinny' EVERY TIME you saw me and it made me giggle slash I loved it and when I told you how it made me said, ‘Well I'd always like to hear that I look skinny so I make sure to make others feel good like that.'"

"We had a play date in the works for this week and I can't wait for it to be over so I can stop thinking about how I missed our chance to be together," she continued. "I'm doing something everyday to honor your strength and it helps me to feel close to you...I love you Nay." 

GLAAD teamed up with Google to exclusively premiere its award show on its YouTube on Thursday, April 8 at 8 p.m. ET. Additionally, the event will stream on Hulu on April 8 starting at 10 p.m. ET, and will be available to stream on-demand on Hulu until the end of June.

Peacock is live now! Check out NBCU's streaming service here.