Rivera's body was found and she was officially declared dead on July 13, the seventh anniversary of Monteith's death by accidental drug overdose.
"I’ve cried until my tear ducts have dried out, now it’s time to celebrate the fact that us mere humans got to experience walking through life with an earth angel," Riley said of Rivera on Instagram, sharing a series of pics of the two of them cracking up together on the set.
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"Best duets on the show! PERIODT!" Riley wrote of her performances with Rivera. "Couldn’t tell us shxt." While Lea Michele was the lead of the show when it began, both Riley and Rivera quickly made marks for themselves with powerhouse vocals and incredible performances.
"miss you baby girl and I love you Naya Rivera," she continued. "I’m so mad the world will never see how high you could have soared."
Riley went on to talk about Rivera's intelligence and quick wit, echoing sentiments shared by other cast-mates in their tributes. And she took a moment to appreciate that despite all the tabloid stories of on-set feuds, they never had one.
"There was never competition, or shade, or intimidation with us. Just pure adoration and mutual respect," she wrote. "You deserved better."
She went so far as to say Rivera was "so much more than just this show," adding that her "talent outshined us all so many times!"
She then took a moment to share her favorite moment with Rivera, which happened during one of the show's many whirlwind tours.
She credited Rivera with bring the "Glee" cast back together, unified in their love and mourning for her. "Your presence brought so much excitement, so much passion, so much joy, and in your absence you’re STILL holding us accountable and getting us together," she wrote.
Perhaps most beautifully, even though it's such a simple thing, Riley shared how she pays tribute not only to Rivera now, but also to Monteith. "I say your name everyday and hold you in my heart, just like I do Cory," she wrote.