Brandi Carlile, Lionel Richie, Brittany Howard with Chris Martin, and Bruno Mars with Anderson .Paak were all tapped to perform during the lengthy segment, which included tributes to several artists who died in 2020 and 2021, including John Prine, Kenny Rodgers and Little Richards. Noticeably absent, however, was Rivera, who died in July 2020. Us Weekly confirmed the Glee alum’s death by drowning days after she was reported missing following a boat road with her 5-year-old son, Josey, at Lake Piru in California. She was 33 years old.
While host Trevor Noah noted that there was a full list of nearly 1,000 late musicians on the Grammys website (and Rivera’s name is included), viewers weren’t happy that her name didn’t appear on TV during Sunday’s broadcast.
“Since the recording academy failed to include GRAMMY-nominated Naya Rivera in the tribute, please take some time to think about her today. #GRAMMYs,” one person tweeted.
Another fan wrote, “Since the #GRAMMYs didn’t mention her i’ll do it. rest in peace naya rivera you beautiful angel. we love you and miss you so much.”
“The @RecordingAcad decided to not include Naya Rivera in the on-air ‘In memoriam’ part of the show. I’m disappointed and utterly heartbroken,” a third person tweeted. “Naya gave SO much to the music world. She deserves a mention AT LEAST. Put some respect on her name. #grammys.”
Back in 2010, Rivera was nominated for a Grammy as a member of the Glee cast. The actors from the Fox drama were up for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals.
Less than a week before Sunday’s awards show, the late actress’ father, George Rivera, made headlines when he accused Glee creator Ryan Murphy of failing to set up a college fund for Josey, which Murphy and producers Brad Falchuk and Ian Brennan vowed to do after Naya’s death.
“Everyone needs to know what Ryan Murphy really did … or didn’t do !!! I’m about to blow up this story … and make sure he’s [sic] knows that I know …” George tweeted on March 9. “When you are part of the Hollywood elite, some people treat others as they are ‘less than’ … vocalize a good game , but it’s as shallow as the sets on stage , that they create. Promises made in public, only to fade with time and excuses … even in an unexplainable tragedy …”
Murphy denied Georgie’s claims, tweeting, “Myself, Brad Falchuk, and Ian Brennan have committed to create a college fund for Naya Rivera’s child Josey through the Naya Rivera Estate Trust. We have been in repeated conversations with the appropriate executors of her estate.”