Three years after her untimely death, Naya Rivera‘s former Glee castmates are reuniting to honor her legacy with a special holiday song. The tune, titled “Prayer for the Broken,” is a piece recorded by the actress before she died at age 33 in 2020 in a drowning accident. Now completed with the background vocals of her former co-stars, the profits from the tune will go to benefit one of Rivera’s favorite charities.
In an Instagram post shared to the account of Kevin McHale, who played Artie on the hit Fox series, a series of former Glee stars — including Amber Riley, Heather Morris and Ashley Fink — share their excitement over the release of the song.
The song release is part of “Snixxmas,” the annual fundraiser done in Rivera’s name. In the previous three years, the fundraiser has raised over $250,000 for Alexandria House, a Los Angeles-based organization that provides safe and supportive housing for women and children experiencing homelessness and trauma.
“SNIXXMAS IS HERE & with a true Snixxmas miracle – an unreleased Naya Rivera song, ‘Prayer For The Broken (with Friends from Glee),’ McHale wrote, encouraging fans and followers to stream the song and donate to the organization. “This year, let’s celebrate the gifts Naya gave to us, her talent and her heart. This song has meant so much to me over the years and now I hope it will for all of you.”
On the fundraiser website, it’s explained that the previously unreleased song was first recorded by Rivera in 2012. It was completed with the blessings of the song’s original writers, Lindy Robbins and Isaac Hasson, as well as Naya’s mother, Yolanda Previtire.
“We hope that ‘Prayer For The Broken’ brings you the same comfort it has brought us over the years — a poignant reminder of Naya’s otherworldly talent and a heartfelt gift, allowing us to hear her once more through this inspiring message,” the fundraising page reads.
Over the years since her death, Rivera’s former co-stars frequently honored her memory. This past summer during the SAG-AFTRA strike, Morris celebrated one of her friend’s famous Glee moments by toting a sign on the picket line that read “The only straight I am is straight-up broke.” The line was uttered by Rivera’s character, queer cheerleader Santana Lopez.
Morris, with whom Rivera was particularly close, called the actress “her angel” on the second anniversary of her death. In a post on Instagram that featured a set of photos of the duo, she noted that she “misses her every day.”
Several other members of the Glee cast and crew often celebrate Rivera’s memory, as well. Just days after the 1st anniversary of Rivera’s death in 2021, several members of the cast and crew gathered together. Morris, McHale, Ushkowitz and several writers on the show came together for a group photo posted on Chord Overstreet‘s Instagram.
Rivera’s 2020 death was the result of an accidental drowning while boating with her son Josey at Lake Piru in Southern California. In the months following her death, her family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Ventura County, claiming her death was preventable because the boat she was on did not have proper safety equipment. Two years later, they settled the case, with Josey receiving the settlement funds.
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