Naya Marie Rivera (January 12, 1987 – July 8, 2020) was an American actress, singer and model. She was best known for her role as lesbian cheerleader Santana Lopez on the Fox television series Glee. Rivera drowned at Lake Piru, near Santa Clarita, California, while swimming with her four-year-old son Josey, who was found alone on their rented boat.
About Naya Rivera in brief
Naya Marie Rivera (January 12, 1987 – July 8, 2020) was an American actress, singer and model. She was best known for her role as lesbian cheerleader Santana Lopez on the Fox television series Glee. Rivera was signed to Columbia Records as a solo musical artist in 2011 and – despite never releasing a studio album – released a single, \”Sorry\”, in 2013. Her personal life garnered significant press and media attention throughout her career, and in 2016 she published a memoir titled Sorry Not Sorry: Dreams, Mistakes, and Growing Up. Rivera drowned at Lake Piru, near Santa Clarita, California, while swimming with her four-year-old son Josey, who was found alone on their rented boat. Her body was recovered from the lake on the morning of July 13, following a five-day search. Rivera is seen as having been a vanguard of Afro-Latinx and queer representation on television. Her parents are Yolanda Previtire, a real estate agent and former model, and George Rivera, who worked various IT jobs, including positions at Disney and the Universal Music Publishing Group. Her maternal grandmother was Clara White, an abortion counselor and figure in the civil rights movement who was involved in the March on Washington, Selma to Montgomery marches, and 1968 Chicago riots. Her younger brother is former NFL tight end Mychal Rivera, and her younger sister is runway model Nickayla Rivera. Rivera said that she was named after the water goddess Nyah featured in the television show Fantasy Island, after her mother heard the name and liked it, owning a pet parrot with the name Naya before Rivera was born.
Rivera did not grow up speaking Spanish at home, but understood it and later learned to speak it. She met Tupac Shakur as a child; he was a fan of her acting and went over to introduce himself to her family at Neverland Ranch twice. She became friends with one of Michael Jackson’s nieces as a young age and became one of his closest friends as well. Her mother was a model and actress, and her father was a real-estate agent and real-life father. She had a younger brother, Mychal, and a younger sister, Nicky Rivera. Rivera lived in or around Los Angeles for most of her life and was of African American, German, and Puerto Rican descent. At the time of her death, she was between seasons of the television series Step Up, in which she played the female lead, Collette Jones. During the time her parents were married, the family’s income would fluctuate dramatically, sometimes living lavishly and other times struggling; when they were in financial difficulty, Rivera approved the use of some of the money she earned as aChild that was set aside in her Coogan account. She did not really know her stepfather, but did notreally know her grandparents. Her father and stepmother had married in 1986 but divorced in 1996.