On early Monday morning, Naya Rivera’s body was found in Lake Piru, California. On Wednesday, July 13th it was confirmed by the Ventura County Medical Examiner’s Office that Rivera’s death was accidental. Her life was cut untimely short due to drowning. Rivera’s four-year-old son was found asleep on a rented pontoon boat in the middle of the lake. According to the authorities, there was no indication of drugs or alcohol that could have been a connection to her death. Throughout her career, Naya became a successful actress, singer, and model. She is mostly known for her iconic role as Santana Lopez in the hit series Glee.
Rivera began her career as a child actress appearing in numerous commercials. She eventually landed her first role as Hillary Winston in the CBS sitcom, The Royal family, between 1991 to 1992. Naya was only four at the time. For this role, she received a nomination for a Young Artist Award. She then went on to make appearances in several shows such as Family Matters, The Arsenio Hall Show, Soul Food, The Bernie Mac Show, Even Stevens, and Girlfriends. Her breakthrough was playing Santana Lopez in Glee from 2009 to 2015. Her role consisted of being one of the three popular cheerleaders at William McKinley High School. Santana dealt with her identity only to realize she is a lesbian. The realization is fueled by her feelings towards her best friend Brittany Pierce, played by Heather Morris. Combined with her incredible singing, Lopez’s storyline acquired many viewers.
Apart from TV series, Rivera starred in films, At The Devil’s Door and Mad Families. The multi-talented star also attempted a professional singing career. Although an album was never released she debuted a single, “Sorry” featuring rapper Big Sean in 2013. In 2016, Rivera published a memoir titled Sorry Not Sorry: Dreams, Mistakes, and Growing Up. Naya Rivera was also an advocate for the LGBTQ community. To conclude, Rivera was phenomenal in every path she followed. Her career will continue to impact youth audiences and many who followed her on her successful journey.
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Mya White is a contributing writer for Snubb3d Magazine. She was born and raised in Columbia, South Carolina and she is currently majoring in Journalism at Savannah State University.