Watch Naya Rivera’s Emotional ‘If I Die Young’ Cover on ‘Glee’
Seven years ago, Glee star Naya Rivera sang about the sharp knife of a short life in honoring her co-star Cory Monteith. The show chose the Band Perry's "If I Die Young" to pay tribute to his character, Finn, and chose Rivera's character Santana to do it.
It was an emotional scene that's even more so today, after Rivera's death. Monteith died after a drug overdose on July 13, 2013 — exactly seven years to the day before Rivera's body was recovered from California's Lake Piru, where she reportedly drowned. The 33-year-old's body had been missing for five days at that point. Her 4-year-old son was found safe and still wearing his life jacket, asleep on boat they had rented for the day.
In the above scene, Rivera's Santana speaks about Monteith's Finn before starting into "If I Die Young," a Kimberly Perry-written ballad that became the Band Perry's career song after its 2010 release. The actor's character breaks down, however, and runs out of the room screaming as the rest of the cast tries to console her. Rivera and Monteith's characters dated on the show, but at the time of his death, he was dating co-star Lea Michele in real life.
Listen to the Full Version of the Glee Cast "If I Die Young"
"I'm so excited that song is being used that way because even though it has 'die' in the title, it was really inspired by and about celebrating life," Perry said at the time of the hit that made her band a household name. "I obviously haven't seen the episode that's a tribute to Cory, but I feel like they're going to focus on his life rather than his death, so I'm really excited that "If I Die Young" is going to be part of honoring him."
"If I Die Young" won the CMAs for Single and Song of the Year in 2011. The Band Perry notched three No. 1 hits and eight Top 10 singles from two albums during their seven years as country singers. They've since transitioned to pop music.
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