10 Iconic Naya Rivera Performances From Glee

Naya Rivera turned every song she sang on Glee into a hit, but here are 10 of her most iconic and memorable performances from the show.

Briana Phipps

AfterBuzz TV Producer, Host & Writer
Posted On: July 14th, 2020 10:11 pm pst

Maria Menounos
Keven Undergaro
AfterBuzz TV Founders

Founded by Emmy winning journalist Maria Menounos and Producer Keven Undergaro, AfterBuzz TV is the artist-friendly entertainment news platform that celebrates, discusses, interviews, promotes and reports on the widest range of stars, creators and content through video, audio and article publications.

Naya Rivera rose to fame portraying Santana Lopez on Fox’s Glee. She stole hearts as the tough exterior cheerleader with a not so secret heart of gold. She also made history portraying a bisexual character in the Latinx community. 

Rivera’s body was tragically found on July 13th, seven years after the death of her fellow co-star Cory Monteith. Although she was taken from this world too soon, her legacy will live on through her friends, family, and art. 

She took her character on Glee from a minor role to one of the leads with her amazing vocals and witty but lovable character. Here are 10 of her most memorable performances from the show. 

Songbird – Fleetwood Mac 

This love ballad Santana sings to Brittany gave audiences a beautiful glimpse into a softer side of the usually tough fronted Santana.

Smooth Criminal – Michael Jackson 

Not only does Naya’s voice meld seamlessly into the Michael Jackson classic, but her outfit was also fire. This was definitely a stand out performance for Naya, and for the entire Michael Jackson themed episode. 

Valerie – Amy Winehouse

This song was definitely a classic for Glee and Santana. While we know Amy Winehouse didn’t originally sing the song, Naya’s vocals fit perfectly with her rendition. Watching this now feels even more tragic knowing like Amy, Naya’s life would end far too early. 

Rumor Has It/Someone Like You – Adele 

While Santana and Mercedes duets always took songs to new heights, this one holds a special place in viewers hearts. Naya’s raw emotion singing Rumor Has It opposite Amber RIley’s Someone Like You left us with chills. Plus it gave us the Santana/Finn slap, which is one of the most iconic moments in the whole show. 

If I Die Young – The Band Perry 

This song was sad enough being used in honoring the death of Cory Monteith (Finn) on the show, but now brings a whole new level of sadness. Adding the coincidence of her body being found on the anniversary of Monteith’s death makes this song all the more haunting to watch back. 

The Boy is Mine – Monica & Brandy 

While Santana and Mercedes have countless duets during the show, this one is definitely a stand out. The duo uses the song to fight over Puck, someone who is definitely undeserving of two women fighting over him, and the sassiness that follows is iconic. 

America – West Side Story 

Naya stole the show with her rendition of this iconic song from West Side Story. It let us see a more playful side of Santana, and proved that she couldn’t only sing but dance and act as well. 

Don’t Rain on My Parade Funny Girl 

This song had to make the list, if for nothing else, but how amazing it is to watch Rachel’s frenemy use her go to song to secure the spot of her understudy. Naya made this song her own and gave it a new hip feel as she struts down the theater aisle. 

La Isla Bonita Madonna

Getting to see Naya and Ricky Martin belt out this classic was amazing to see and gave viewers a chance to see Santana get back to her latin roots. 

The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face – 

This song was so powerful and haunting to listen to. It showed how powerful Naya’s voice was both solo and also while harmonizing. It also took her acting skills to another level, making us feel how beautiful and painful it is to be in love. 

Trouty Mouth – Glee 

We have to give this song an honorary mention for the sheer brilliance Naya pulls off making such a terrible and mean spirited song still somehow be a banger! 

About The Author:

Briana Phipps is a host, producer, and scheduling coordinator for AfterBuzz TV. She is currently the host for Teen Mom News Weekly and is your go to for all things Broadway! Whether you want to discuss intense TV dramas, the latest reality scoops, or the best guilty pleasures to watch she’s got you covered!

Founded by Emmy winning journalist Maria Menounos and Producer Keven Undergaro, artist-friendly AfterBuzz TV is the world’s largest digital broadcast network and pop culture news platform, producing post-game ‘after-shows’ for nearly all favorite TV shows, interviewing cast and showrunners and providing the widest video, audio and article coverage of shows, content and influencers than any entertainment news platforms in existence

“We don’t just celebrate and cover the top shows, content and stars, we celebrate and cover ALL the shows, content and stars.”

Maria Menounos

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