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Christina Milian to take over Naya Rivera's role in 'Step Up' show: 'I have massive shoes to fill'

Charles Trepany, USA TODAY
·2 min read
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Naya Rivera's role in a series inspired by the "Step Up" films has been recast, the Starz channel announced in a press release Monday.

According to the release, Christina Milian will join the show as Collette Jones, a part originated by Rivera in the first two seasons. The series, produced by Starz and Lionsgate Television, first aired on YouTube in 2018 and resumed filming this month in Atlanta, the release added.

Milian has previously acted in the shows "Soundtrack," "The Oath" and "Grandfathered" and was nominated for two Grammy Awards in 2004. She has also voiced a recurring role in "Family Guy."

"I am so excited to join the 'Step Up' family," Milian said in a statement. "I know I have massive shoes to fill. Naya was incredible. I hope to honor Naya, her family, friends and fans with a great performance."

Christina Milian will join Starz's "Step Up" series as Collette Jones, a part originated by Naya Rivera in the first two seasons.
Christina Milian will join Starz's "Step Up" series as Collette Jones, a part originated by Naya Rivera in the first two seasons.

Last July, Rivera disappeared from a boat she rented with her 4-year-old son, Josey, at Lake Piru in Southern California. After a days-long search, the Ventura County Sheriff's Office announced that a body found at the lake was Rivera's.

Holly Sorensen, the creator and executive producer of the "Step Up" series, described Rivera's death as "a terrible loss to our world that we will, frankly, never stop mourning."

“It was almost impossible to consider there could be someone so graceful and loving who could both help us honor our loss, while also bringing a deep reservoir of talent to our show, in so many areas," she continued. "Christina is an exceptional human and a dazzling performer and we are so happy she has joined our family.”

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Ne-Yo, who starred opposite Rivera in the show's first two seasons, said Milian will honor the former "Glee" star with her performance.

"There is no replacing Naya. Let's get that straight. Her spirit lives on in our memories and every part of what this show is and will be,” he said. “Christina has big shoes to fill and she knows it, which speaks to her poise and respect as a person and an artist. I'm more than certain of her ability to bring an energy and light to this character that Naya's fans as well as the rest of the world will love."

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Naya Rivera's role in 'Step Up' series recast with Christina Milian