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Today Glee creators Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk, and Ian Brennan released a touching tribute to Naya Rivera. Per the Hollywood Reporter, the trio opened up about what Naya meant to them and to Glee.

They wrote, “Naya wasn’t a series regular when we cast her on Glee. She didn’t have more than a few lines in the pilot. But it didn’t take more than an episode or two for us to realize that we had lucked into finding one of the most talented, special stars we would ever have the pleasure of working with.”

“Naya could act, she could dance, and she could sing (could she ever sing!) She could nail a joke as well as she could crush you with an emotional scene. She could move between being scary tough and deeply vulnerable with ease. She was a joy to write for, a joy to direct and a joy to be around.”

They also mention how groundbreaking her character was. “It was one of the first times an openly lesbian, high school relationship was seen on network television and Naya understood what ‘Brittana’ meant to the many young women who were seeing themselves represented on television for the first time.”

They added,  “She was warm and caring and fiercely protective of the rest of the cast. She was tough and demanding. She was fun. She was kind. She was generous. There were ups and downs during the wonderful and stressful years we spent making Glee. We disagreed, we fought, we made up, then we fought some more, than we made up again. The kinds of things that happen in a family. Naya was more than just an actor on our show- she was our friend.”

The trio lastly adds that they are in the process of creating a college fund for her son Josey. Read the full statement here.

GALLERY: Naya Rivera Through The Years