We thought this song was haunting when we heard it back in 2013…
After the shocking and tragic death of Cory Monteith, the cast of Glee was given a chance to say goodbye in song in a tribute episode called The Quarterback. While they were singing in their characters for Finn, they were also going through the real-life loss of their co-star, and in Naya Rivera‘s performance it really showed.
Related: Officials Reveal Naya Died Saving Her Son
In what was probably the best acting of her entire career, she performed a cover of The Band Perry‘s If I Die Young, and just before the song ended she broke down in tears in a moment that was half scripted, half completely genuine heartbreak.
It’s a moment made even more powerful now after the loss of Naya, who also died far too young at just 33 years old. Fans have even noted the chilling similarity between the lyric, “sink me in the river,” and how she died — drowning in Lake Piru.
Grab your tissues and watch to relive one of Naya’s best performances (below):
[Image via Fox/YouTube/FayesVision/WENN.]