The singer is taking over the late "Glee" star's role on "Step Up," on which Rivera starred for its first two seasons. The show originally aired on YouTube Red, before being canceled and later revived by Starz just two months before Rivera died.
"There is no replacing Naya. Let's get that straight. Her spirit lives on in our memories and every part of what this show is and will be," said star Ne-Yo in a statement. "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. We've welcomed Christina with absolute open arms and have rallied around her with love and support. I'm excited and can't wait for the world to see this!"
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the series consulted with Rivera's family after her drowning death in July 2020 and decided to recast the role.
"Naya's death was a terrible loss to our world that we will, frankly, never stop mourning," the show's creator, Holly Sorensen, added. "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."
Added Milian: "I am so excited to join the Step Up family. 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."
The show goes back into production later this month in Atlanta.
Rivera died on July 8, 2020 in a boating accident while swimming with then-four-year-old Josey. He was found alone on the boat, with authorities believing her last act was saving his life. Her body was recovered five days later; she was 33.