The night’s guest host, Lil Rel Howery, introduced Riley’s rendition of a song called “A Moment,” and spoke on their friendship with Rivera. “We both lost a really amazing friend in tragic accident. We’ll both miss her forever and I really want to thank the show for letting us do this.”
After the performance aired Riley tweeted that Rivera’s mother gifted her with photos used in the tribute. “Thank you Mama Yoli,” she tweeted early Friday (Aug. 28) . “Continue to uplift and pray for them and thank you @LilRel4 for letting me [be] a part of your vision for our friend. Love you.”
Riley and Rivera were duet partners on Glee and forged a close friendship off screen.
Rivera, 33, died from an accidental drowning during an outing with her young son at Southern California’s Lake Piru. Authorities recovered her body five days after she went missing in the murky waters.
Earlier in the month, fans gathered at Lake Piru to hold a vigil for the actress and doting mother. Rivera was laid to rest in a private ceremony in late July.
Watch Riley’s tribute below.