Prior to this, Amber also paid tribute to Naya in a lengthy Instagram post in which she gushes over her late ‘Glee' co-star, saying, ‘She was smart and as quick as a whip.'
Amber Riley appeared in the Friday, August 28 episode of “Jimmy Kimmel Live!“. The former “Glee” star used it as an opportunity to bid farewell to her friend and former co-star Naya Rivera, who passed away seven weeks ago from accidental drowning.
In the episode, Amber, who portrayed Mercedes Jones on the hit series, sang, “God knows I'm tired…and it just hits you like a bullet/ Now I need a moment alone with my soul/ I can't stop these thoughts.” While she belted out the notes during the touching performance, photos of Naya throughout her life were shown in the screen behind her.
“Everybody thinks I'm okay/ But don't nobody know the way I'm really feeling/ Only heaven knows that nothing hurts more than falling…set me free,” she continued singing. “I'm ready to cry…just let it be.”
Prior to this, Amber also paid tribute to Naya in a lengthy Instagram post. “[Miss] you baby girl and I love you #NayaRivera,” so she wrote on July 23. “I'm so mad the world will never see how high you could have soared. Her brain was brilliant. She was smart and as quick as a whip. Always had me in stitches, we would be in tears laughing so hard at one another. There was never competition, or shade, or intimidation with us. Just pure adoration and mutual respect. You deserved better. You were so much more than just this show. Your talent outshined us all so many times!”
Naya disappeared while boating with her 4-year-old son Josey Dorsey in Lake Piru on July 8. Her body was found on July 13, following a five-day search. On the same day, the “Glee” cast gathered at the lake to pay their respects to their late co-star.
Her son was safe and told investigators that his mother helped him climb back into the boat after they're swimming, before she disappeared underwater. According to her death certificate, her cause of death was “drowning” and states that she died within a matter of “[minutes].” She was laid to rest at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Los Angeles on July 24.