Rivera in 2012
|Born||Naya Marie Rivera
January 12, 1987
Valencia, California, United States
|Occupation||Actress, singer-songwriter, model|
|Associated acts||Big Sean, Jaden Michaels, Glee|
Naya Marie Rivera (born January 12, 1987) is an American actress and singer, known for playing Santana Lopez on Fox Broadcasting's musical comedy-drama television series Glee. In 2011, Rivera signed a recording contract with Columbia Records to release her debut album. The lead single "Sorry" was released on September 17, 2013, featuring her then-fiancé Big Sean.
- 1 Early life
- 2 Career
- 3 Media Appearances
- 4 Public image
- 5 Personal life
- 6 Filmography
- 7 Discography
- 8 Music videos
- 9 Stage work
- 10 Awards and nominations
- 11 See also
- 12 References
- 13 External links
Rivera was born and raised in Valencia, Santa Clarita, California, and has lived in or around Los Angeles for most of her life. Rivera is of half Puerto Rican, a quarter African American, and a quarter German descent. Her parents are George and Yolanda Rivera. Her brother is NFL tight end Mychal Rivera. Her younger sister is runway model Nickayla Rivera. At eight or nine months old, Rivera began to be represented by the same talent agent as her mother, who had moved to Los Angeles to pursue modeling.
1991–2008: Career beginnings
As a baby, Rivera appeared in commercials for Kmart, but her first significant acting job was at the age of four when she appeared as Hillary Winston in The Royal Family sitcom in 1991. The show received positive reviews and high ratings initially, but after star Redd Foxx suffered a sudden heart attack on set, the show was soon canceled. Rivera received a Young Artist Award nomination for her performance in the series.
Between 1992 and 2002, she had small roles in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Family Matters, Live Shot, Baywatch, Smart Guy, The Jersey, House Blend, Even Stevens and The Master of Disguise. In 2002 she also appeared in the music video for B2K's "Why I Love You". She was hired for a single episode guest appearance on The Bernie Mac Show in 2002, but she was brought back to work on a further ten episodes throughout all five seasons. She was later featured in episodes of 8 Simple Rules and CSI: Miami. In between auditions and roles, Rivera worked jobs as a telemarketer, a nanny and a greeter at an Abercrombie & Fitch store. In 2006 and 2007, Rivera took part in a production of Mark E. Swinton's play, U Don't Know Me: The Musical, both in Los Angeles and when the production was taken on national tour.
2009–present: Breakthrough and acclaim with Glee, musical solo debut
In 2009, Rivera was cast as Santana Lopez, a high school cheerleader, on Fox's musical comedy series, Glee, about a high school glee club. Rivera's character comes off as a cold-hearted and vicious cheerleader, who often shows her softer side to fellow cheerleader Brittany (played by Heather Morris). Rivera auditioned for the opportunity "to sing, dance and act all in the same show," and because she was a fan of co-creator Ryan Murphy's previous work on Nip/Tuck.
Rivera drew on her own high school experience of unpopularity to prepare for the role, as well as watching films such as Mean Girls to "really get in the zone and feel like a bitchy Sophomore". She has described Santana as "your typical high school cheerleader, for the most part," explaining: "She's really mean and loves boys. She's really witty so I love playing her." She has characterized Santana as "a bit of a bad girl" who is "really snarky and always has these really witty one-liners she throws out there." Rivera enjoys the fact Santana is competitive and headstrong as she herself shares those traits, but dislikes Santana's mean streak. She finds the show's pacing challenging, especially the dancing, and commented in June 2009 that her most memorable moment on Glee was performing the Cheerios' glee club audition piece, "I Say a Little Prayer". Santana played a more prominent part in the last nine episodes of Glee's first season. Rivera commented: "Santana's been wreaking havoc with people's boyfriends and people's babies and teachers—she's the high school terror, and she's going to continue to be the villain."
After having her screen time and musical involvement increased in the second half of the first season, Rivera was promoted to official series regular status as of the beginning of the second season. She was given her first solo in the fifth episode of season two, "The Rocky Horror Glee Show", and performed several others as the season progressed. During the second season, Rivera's role in the show was radically changed when it was revealed that her character was a lesbian. Rivera portrayed Santana struggling to come to terms with her sexuality, with her love for her best friend, and with her inability to come out of the closet. She received favorable reviews for her performance.
In July 2011, Rivera was nominated for two ALMA awards, in the categories of "Favorite Female Music Artist" and "Favorite TV Actress—Leading Role in a Comedy". Rivera received a great amount of critical praise for both her acting and her singing performances in the latter part of Season Two and the beginning of Season Three. As 2011 ended, she or her character were on many "Best Of" lists, including HitFix's 25 Breakout Stars of 2011, TV Guide's Best Performances of 2011, MTV's Best TV Characters of 2011, as well as others.
In the second half of the series' third season, Rivera's critical acclaim and featured role continued. She was given the opportunity to do a duet with Ricky Martin, and worked with Gloria Estefan, who was cast as Santana's mother. As the season ended, there was uncertainty about which characters and actors would return in the fourth season, once a large portion of the characters had graduated high school. While attending the Fox Upfronts in May 2012, Rivera confirmed that she would be returning.
As the 64th Primetime Emmy Awards approached, Rivera was listed by many critics and media outlets as deserving of a nomination.[who?] The Hollywood Reporter included her in their "Emmy 2012: Supporting Players" photo shoot, and Rivera was also honored by E!, Hitfix, TV Guide, and others. She was also chosen by the TV Academy to take part in a promotional video for the upcoming awards ceremony. Regarding her awards season buzz, Rivera commented to The Hollywood Reporter, "For people to even think that I'd be considered or a good candidate for a supporting actress nomination is mind-blowing to me."
In 2011, Rivera hosted the San Francisco GLAAD Media Awards. In November 2011, Rivera and Amber Riley performed at the 10th Annual Celebration of Dreams Event for the Dream Foundation. In December 2011, Rivera was revealed as the newest celebrity spokesperson for ProActiv. On March 24, 2012, she co-hosted the 23rd Annual GLAAD Media Awards in New York with co-star Cory Monteith. Along with John Stamos, both hosts auctioned off kisses to the crowd, raising $15,000. This tradition started with Rivera when she hosted the 22nd Annual Media Awards in San Francisco.
In October 2012, Rivera was featured in the third episode of MTV's new show, This Is How I Made It. In the episode, Rivera recounted her childhood career as an actress and a model, as well as the lean times that came between the age of 16 and 21, leading up to her big break of being cast on Glee. In December 2012, Rivera attended the annual Trevor Live event, where she performed her take on the song "Silent Night."
Rivera has starred in a recent M&M's commercial that aired during Super Bowl XLVII on February 3, 2013, as the girl that "Red" is referring to (and who is essentially trying to eat him) with a cover of Meat Loaf's I'd Do Anything For Love (But I Won't Do That).
In April 2012, Rivera was featured on the cover of Latina magazine. The following month she was also featured in the inaugural issue of Cosmo for Latinas, and was selected by People en Español for their 50 Most Beautiful list. In May 2012, Rivera made FHM's 100 Sexiest Women List, coming in at number 39. She made the Maxim Hot 100 list for the third year in a row, moving up sixteen spots to number 27. On the 2012 AfterEllen 'Hot 100 list' she was again ranked #1. She posed nude for the May 2013 issue of Allure magazine.
Rivera began dating recording artist Big Sean in April 2013. The couple announced their engagement in October 2013. On April 9, 2014, Big Sean released a statement through a rep, saying that he has called off their engagement. 
Rivera took up songwriting at the age of 15, declaring in one interview, "...my passion for music is one of my greatest loves." In 2008, Rivera completed an 8-week screenwriting workshop at the New York Film Academy. She has stated that if she could not act or sing she would work as a writer.
Concerning her religious views, Rivera noted in an interview with Latina magazine that she was raised a devout Christian but is very private about it, noting the conflict that can result from revealing such information. "It's hard and sort of sad that you do feel the need to tread lightly when you say, 'Yes, I do go to church and I do read the Bible,' because once you do that, people will be like, 'Why are her boobs out? Why is her midriff showing? Why is she playing a lesbian?' I don't want to deal with that stuff, so I've never really discussed it. It's very personal."
|2009||Frankenhood||Hottie||Credited erroneously as Naya Maria Rivera|
|2011||Glee: The 3D Concert Movie||Santana Lopez||3D Concert Film|
|2013||The Naughty List||Sparkle||Animated Christmas Movie|
|1991–92||The Royal Family||Hillary Winston||Regular role|
|1992–93||Family Matters||Gwendolyn||Episodes: "Just One Date", "Heart Strings", "Mama's Wedding"|
|1993||The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air||Cindy||Episode: "Bundle of Joy"|
|1993||The Sinbad Show||Party Guest||Episode: "It's My Party, I'll Cry If I Want To"|
|1995||Live Shot||Ann||Episode: "Another Day, Another Story"|
|Episodes: "Baby, It's You and You and You", "Never Too Young"|
|1999||The Jersey||Girl #2||Episode: "Be True to You"|
|2002||House Blend||Chloe||Television pilot|
|2002||Even Stevens||Charlene||Episode: "Short Story"|
|2002–06||The Bernie Mac Show||Donna||Recurring role (Seasons 2-5): 11 episodes|
|2003||Soul Food||Lauryn||Episodes: "Truth's Consequences", "Nobody's Child"|
|2004||8 Simple Rules||Nice Girl||Episode: "Halloween"|
|2008||Girlfriends||Young Lady||Episode: "Stand and Deliver"|
|2008||CSI: Miami||Rachel Calvado||Episode: "Power Trip"|
|2009–present||Glee||Santana Lopez||Season 1: recurring cast member
Season 2–present: main cast member
|2010||When I Was 17||Herself||Episode 28, with Carmelo Anthony and Taye Diggs|
|2012||The Glee Project||Herself (Guest Star)||Season 2, Episode 4: "Sexuality"|
|2012||This Is How I Made It||Herself||Episode 3, with Chris Brown|
|2013||Styled to Rock||Herself|
|Year||Title||Peak chart positions||Album|
|2013||"Sorry" (feat. Big Sean)||—||37||TBA|
|"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.|
|2002||B2K||"Why I Love You" "1:47" |
|2012||2Cellos||"Supermassive Black Hole"|
|2006–07||U Don't Know Me||Keila|
Awards and nominations
|1992||Young Artist Awards||Exceptional Performance by a Young Actress Under Ten||Nominated|
|2010||Screen Actors Guild Awards||Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series||Won|
|TV Land Awards||Future Classics (with: Glee Cast)||Won|
|Imagen Awards||Best Supporting Actress—Television||Nominated|
|Teen Choice Awards||Choice Music: Group||Nominated|
|Lesbian/Bi People's Choice Awards||Favorite Music Duo or Group (with: Glee Cast)||Nominated|
|Gay People's Choice Awards||Favorite Music Duo or Group (with: Glee Cast)||Won|
|2011||Screen Actors Guild Awards||Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series||Nominated|
|Grammy Award||Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals (Don't Stop Believin)||Nominated|
|Best Compilation Soundtrack Album for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media (Glee: The Music, Volume 1)||Nominated|
|Teen Choice Awards||Choice Music: Group (with: Glee Cast)||Nominated|
|ALMA Awards||Favorite TV Actress—Leading Role in a Comedy||Nominated|
|ALMA Awards||Favorite Female Music Artist||Won|
|2012||Screen Actors Guild Awards||Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series||Nominated|
|Grammy Awards||Best Compilation Soundtrack for Visual Media (with: Glee Cast) Glee: The Music, Volume 4||Nominated|
|My TV Awards||Ridiculously Good-Looking Female||Won|
|My TV Awards||Supporting Actress in a Comedy||Won|
|NewNowNext Awards||Cause You're Hot||Won|
|ALMA Awards||Best Female Music Artist||Won|
|ALMA Awards||Favorite TV Actress - Comedy||Won|
|2013||Screen Actors Guild Awards||Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series||Nominated|
|Giffoni Film Festival||Giffoni Award||Won|
|Taste Awards||Great Taste Prize: Hollywood Tastemaker||Won|
|2014||People's Choice Awards||Favorite TV Gal Pals (with Lea Michele)||Won|
- "Naya Rivera Bio". UsMagazine.com. Retrieved October 7, 2013.
- "Naya Rivera Dishes On Recording 'Sorry' Single With Big Sean". Billboard. Retrieved January 22, 2014.
- Simpson, Melody (March 17, 2009). "Meet Cory Monteith and Naya Rivera of Glee". Hollywood the Write Way. Retrieved January 8, 2010.
- "Mychal Rivera Profile", UTSports
- Corman, Rebecca. "Get to Know Mychal Rivera". raiders.com. The Oakland Raiders. Retrieved May 16, 2013.
- Betiku, Fehintola (February 14, 2013). "Good looks run in the family! Naya Rivera's younger sister Nickayla takes to the runway during New York Fashion Week". Daily Mail (London).
- "EXCLUSIVE: We Chat with GLEE’s Naya Rivera". Nice Girls TV. March 12, 2009. Retrieved January 8, 2010.
- Carter, Bill; Rutenberg, Jim (November 9, 2011). "ABC Mourning Star of Series That Was Key To Its Lineup". The New York Times. Retrieved April 29, 2009.
- The Bernie Mac Show appearances for Naya Rivera at the Internet Movie Database
- Steinberg, Jamie. "Naya Rivera: Filled with Glee". Starry Constellation Magazine. Retrieved January 8, 2010.
- Ito, Robert (May 24, 2011). "'Glee': Naya Rivera is glad to portray gay cheerleader Santana". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 24, 2011.
- "A Tribute To Demetria Mckinney & The Cast Of "U Don't Know Me" The Musical". YouTube. Retrieved November 9, 2011.
- Steinberg, Jamie (May 2009). "Naya Rivera—Filled With Glee". Starry Constellation Magazine. Retrieved June 2, 2009.
- "TWIST Chats With Glee's Naya Rivera". Twist. Bauer Publishing. September 15, 2009. Retrieved December 18, 2009.
- Simpson, Melody (March 17, 2009). "Meet Cory Monteith & Naya Rivera of Glee". Hollywood the Write Way. Retrieved December 18, 2009.
- Ninojosa, Stacy (December 3, 2009). "Naya Rivera From 'Glee' Talks Santana, Singing and Spencer Pratt". Just So You Know. Retrieved December 18, 2009.
- Dos Santos, Kristin (December 14, 2009). "Spoiler Chat: Is Jenny Humphrey a Gossip Girl Homewrecker?". E! Online. Retrieved December 18, 2009.
- Hibberd, James (April 27, 2010). "'Glee' exclusive: Brittany and Santana poised for major promotions | Inside TV | EW.com". Ausiellofiles.ew.com. Retrieved November 9, 2011.
- VanDerWerff, Todd (April 27, 2011). "Born This Way". The Onion. Retrieved November 9, 2011.
- Gonzalez, Sandra (March 9, 2011). "'Glee recap: Let's Talk About Sex". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved November 9, 2011.
- "Nuthin' But A Glee Thang with Heather Morris, Matthew Morrison & Sofia Vergara from Heather Morris, Sofia Vergara, Matthew Morrison, Cory Monteith, Naya Rivera, Harry Shum Jr, Riki Lindhome, Ashley Lendzion, David Bernad, Isaac Hagy, BoTown Sound, Shauna O'Toole, Funny Or Die, Keith Schofield, Brian Mulchy, and Christin Trogan". Funnyordie.com. March 22, 2011. Retrieved November 9, 2011.
- "Christina Aguilera, Selena Gomez Top ALMA Nominees". ABC News. July 28, 2011. Retrieved November 9, 2011.
- "The 25 Breakout Stars of 2011". hitfix.com. November 24, 2011. Retrieved January 14, 2012.
- "Best of the Year—Best Performances". TV Guide. December 13, 2011. Retrieved January 14, 2012.
- "'Glee' Star Cheers Up Our Top 50 TV Characters Of 2011". MTV. December 8, 2011. Retrieved January 14, 2012.
- Ford, Rebecca (January 29, 2012). "SAG Awards: Naya Rivera Calls Working With Ricky Martin a 'Dream-Come-True' (Video)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved May 27, 2012.
- "Gloria Estefan on Glee Season Finale with Naya Rivera". Latina. May 22, 2012. Retrieved May 27, 2012.
- Goldberg, Lesley (May 14, 2012). "'Glee's' Naya Rivera: Gloria Estefan Plays a 'Supportive' Mom". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved May 27, 2012.
- "Glee's Naya Rivera Scores Solo Record Deal". Blog.zap2it.com. Retrieved November 9, 2011.
- Goldberg, Lesley (June 6, 2012). "Emmys 2012: TV's Supporting Players Talk Ensemble Work, Geek Out at THR's Photo Shoot (Video)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved July 12, 2012.
- "Emmy Contenders: Supporting Actress, Comedy". E!. July 5, 2012. Retrieved July 12, 2012.
- "Emmy Nomination Preview 2012 - Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy". HitFix. June 15, 2012. Retrieved July 12, 2012.
- "Emmys: TVGuide.com's Picks for Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series". TV Guide. June 14, 2012. Retrieved July 12, 2012.
- Goldberg, Lesley (June 28, 2012). "Emmys 2012: 'Glee's' Naya Rivera on Playing a Lesbian Role Model". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved July 12, 2012.
- "2CELLOS Release New Music Video Featuring Glee Star Naya Rivera On Muse Hit "Supermassive Black Hole"". PRNewswire. December 19, 2012. Retrieved January 13, 2013.
- "iTunes - Music - Sorry (feat. Big Sean) - Single by Naya Rivera". Itunes.apple.com. September 17, 2013. Retrieved January 22, 2014.
- "Naya Rivera New Album 2014 - Release Date & Tracklist: Glee Star Shares Details of First Record with Rolling Stone : Entertainment". Latino Post. November 19, 2013. Retrieved January 22, 2014.
- Snarker, Dorothy (May 16, 2011). "Naya Rivera wows as the host of the GLAAD Media Awards in San Francisco". AfterEllen.com. Retrieved November 9, 2011.
- "Dream Foundation Honors Donna Karan at 10th Annual Celebration of Dreams". The Santa Barbara Independent. November 10, 2011. Retrieved December 24, 2011.
- "Glee Star Naya Rivera's Skin Care Secret". Cosmopolitan. December 21, 2011. Retrieved December 24, 2011.
- "John Stamos, Naya Rivera & Cory Monteith's Three-Way Smooch". People. March 25, 2012. Retrieved March 26, 2012.
- "'Glee' Star Naya Rivera 'Almost Quit' Before She 'Made It'". MTV.com. October 26, 2012. Retrieved November 20, 2012.
- Donnelly, Matt (December 3, 2012). "Katy Perry honored at 'Trevor Live' (but it's Amy Poehler's show)". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 18, 2012.
- "Unlikely romance: Naya Rivera is wooed by a red piece of candy in laugh-out-loud Super Bowl commercial for M&M's". London: DailyMail. February 3, 2013.
- "Naya Rivera's May 2012 Latina Magazine Cover". Latina. April 2, 2012. Retrieved May 27, 2012.
- Hernandez, Lee (May 7, 2012). "Naya Rivera Shows Off Hot Bikini Bod In 'Cosmo for Latinas' Spread". Huffington Post. Retrieved May 27, 2012.
- Taylor, Aislin (May 16, 2012). "Watch out, Lea! Glee star Naya Rivera takes centre stage in geometric sequin dress". Daily Mail (London). Retrieved May 27, 2012.
- "FHM's 100 Sexiest Women In The World 2012: The full list!". FHM. May 2, 2012. Retrieved May 27, 2012.
- "Bar Refaeli, Naya Rivera and Stephen Colbert make Maxim’s ‘Hot 100’ list". Washington Post. May 22, 2012. Retrieved May 27, 2012.
- "Naya Rivera Talks Spanx, Hooters Uniforms, and Her Locker-Room Attitude on the Set of Her Allure Nudes Shoot". Allure. April 2, 2012. Retrieved January 20, 2014.
- Nessif, Bruna (October 3, 2013). "Naya Rivera and Big Sean Are Engaged!". E Online. Retrieved October 3, 2013.
- "Mychal Rivera Draft Profile –". Nfl.com. February 13, 2013. Retrieved January 22, 2014.
- Hinojosa, Stacy (December 3, 2009). "Naya Rivera From 'Glee' Talks Santana, Singing and Spencer Pratt". Jsyk.com. Retrieved August 15, 2010.
- "SU2C: Change The Odds PSA (09.10.10)". YouTube. August 3, 2010. Retrieved July 31, 2012.
- "Here is Naya Rivera from "Glee" posing with the elephant beanie baby to help fight Alzheimer’s disease!". Tumblr. May 21, 2012. Retrieved July 31, 2012.
- "Glee star in T.O. to help kids". Toronto Sun. July 30, 2012. Retrieved July 31, 2012.
- "All About Naya Rivera". Hollywire.com. March 25, 2009. Retrieved November 9, 2011.
- Staff. "New York Film Academy Alumni". New York Film Academy. Retrieved 17 April 2014.
- Pasquine, Frank. "New York Film Academy Graduates on Season 3 of Glee". New York Film Academy. Retrieved 17 April 2014.
- "Naya Rivera Interview". Portrait. July 2009. Retrieved November 9, 2011.
- Latina April 2012, republished at Rivera's official website
- B2K. "Supermassive Black Hole". YouTube. Retrieved December 23, 2011.
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