Christina Milian to Replace the Late Naya Rivera in Starz's 'Step Up' Series

Christina MIlian and Naya Rivera
Stephane Cardinale - Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images and Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage

Rivera died after a tragic boating accident in July 2020.

Christina Milian will be stepping into Naya Rivera's shoes following the actress' untimely death last July. Starz announced on Monday that Milian will be taking over the role of Collette Jones in the newly reimagined Step Up series. Rivera originated the role for two seasons on Step Up: High Water when the series aired on YouTube. Prior to her death, Rivera had been preparing to go into production on the Starz series. 

"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." 

Rivera died in July 2020 following a tragic boating accident on Lake Piro with her young son, Josey. The Glee alum made an impact on the Step Up: High Water cast during her time on the show. 

"Naya's death was a terrible loss to our world that we will, frankly, never stop mourning," show creator and executive producer Holly Sorensen said in a statement. "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. Christina is an exceptional human and a dazzling performer and we are so happy she has joined our family." 

Rivera's former co-star, Ne-Yo added, "There's no replacing Naya. Let's get that straight. He spirit lives on in our memories and every part of what this show is and will be. 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."

Prior to her death, Rivera spoke with ET about being an obsessive fan of the show herself. 

"When the first season came out, I was Googling at midnight, like, 'Where is it?'" she recalled in March 2019. "I was texting everyone and then watched it all within, like, two days. It was so good."