Santana from 'Glee' scores album deal: Is Naya Rivera a promising solo singer? Take our poll!


Image Credit: Michael Yarish/Fox

Another Glee cast member is flying free with an upcoming solo album… and surprisingly, that person is STILL not Lea Michele, Chris Colfer, or Amber Riley.

Instead Naya Rivera—who plays the sharp-tongued, conniving cheerleader Santana Lopez—has scored a deal with Columbia Records.

I guess the old saying is true: nice guys finish last. Or in this case, actors who portray nice guys on musical high school melodramas finish last.

Following hot on the heels of Mark Salling (who plays bad boy Puck) and Matthew Morrison entering the solo music realm, Rivera will commence recording her debut once the current Glee tour wraps.

Although Rivera has arguably been this season’s breakout star (her snide asides rival Sue Sylvester’s and her long-gestating lesbian relationship with Brittany S. Pierce is a show-stealing subplot), it’s hard to imagine what an album of hers might sounds like.

So far on Glee, she hasn’t been pigeonholed stylistically as a singer—which is probably a good thing. They’ve given her a grab bag of Amy Winehouse, Christine McVie, ABBA, and several Rocky Horror tunes.

For my money, her best performance thus far was her duet with Amber Riley on “River Deep—Mountain High,” but that of course benefited from Riley’s magnificent wailing.

Do you think Naya Rivera can hold down an album on her own? What would/should it sound like? Take this poll to declare your opinion!

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Comments (126 total) Add your comment
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  • maiv

    I’m pretty sure the fact that the top 3 don’t have deals is because they don’t want it yet, not the other way around. That being said, Santana’s voice has always been a favorite of mine and I’m looking forward to this record!

    • SaraS

      I think Naya is the one person who could actually be a viable recording and touring artist… she really does have an amazing voice and stage presence. Go girl!!

      • Jethro

        Naya is probably one of the best singers on this show, her powerhouse voice exemplies that. Her solo number in one of the final eps, Winehouse’s Fade to Black number was great!

        She should be showcased more, and less of Rachel would be enticing!

      • Ash

        I agree. The other three don’t really have the kind of voices that will translate into recording artist success. I’m sure the Glee fans will buy it but nobody else will. I think Naya has a great range though and can easily become a success

      • Ben

        I agree. She’s my favorite singer. I love Lea Michele, but she’s not a pop singer. Chris Cofer’s voice is nice but not pop either. Amber… ugh. She just screams. Being a big black woman does not mean she can sing.

    • Glee Fan

      Naya’s face looks like it has been injected with a TON of botox/chemicals. Seriously, her face looks too messed up. Why did she do all that facial structure to her face, ’cause it looks bad now.

      • brerfox

        Seriously. It’s distracting–she looks so much older now.

      • Madox

        Naya’s voice is my favorite on the show. Hopefully it’ll be well produced. I’ll definitely check it out

      • MadHater

        I’m pretty sure Naya hasn’t had anything done to her face. She always had had her cheekbones and lips like that when she was in Family Matters. It just seems like it because she seems to have gained some weight and built some muscles this season.

      • Bweno

        Oh shut up, she’s gorgeous!

    • Frank

      Lea has said she doesn’t feel she has the time to devout to it yet. She has a deal when she wants it.

  • JR

    while I do think Chris and Lea are RIDICULOUSLY talented, I don’t really see them with records, because their voices are so Broadway.
    and Naya will be awesome!

    • AK

      Exactly! Can you imagine Lea Michele or Chris Colfer trying to pull off a pop album? It would be kind of hilarious.

    • SaraS

      No one would buy Amber’s record. Sorry but it’s true.. she’s not that good (and only slightly impressive when she screams).

      • chris

        thank you. i don’t know why people act like she is some gift-from-god-wailer. my favorite is when people are like, can you believe she didn’t make it through on american idol? um, have you see some of the girls who have come through that show. even with autotune there’s nothing exciting or that spectacular about her voice. naya is far and away more interesting.

      • Cat

        Well said. Amber is good compared to some of the others on Glee but her voice is nothing special.

      • David

        Obviously you need to clean out your ears, Amber probably has the best voice on the show. Naya has a good voice, but certainly not good enough to make an album sell well outside of diehard fans of the show.

    • Marianne

      Unless Chris and Lea did like a “Best of a Broadway” type of album.

      • Jessica

        Now that’s an album I would buy! I love it when those two sing Broadway songs.

    • Anya

      Lea keeps talking about wanting to put out a rock album or something from what I’ve read. Guess I could kind of see that… but I agree on Chris, I just don’t see him making any kind of pop album.

      • MadHater

        I don’t see Lea singing rock. She has a powerful voice but it was really painful hearing her in Start Me Up/Living on a Prayer. I loved Naya’s voice there though so I kind of wanted to hear her doing more Rock/Alternative tunes. Then again hers can also fit Soul/RnB.

      • Frank

        she said that one time but said she didn’t know.
        And it was not painful to her start me up. I thing when she said rock more soft rock like Fleetwood Mac.

        She can do more than B-Way people nee dot stop saying that is simply is not true.

      • MadHater

        Oh yeah, I love what Lea did with Go Your Own Way. Sorry, my bad. I would buy Lea’s album if she does Broadway or Ballad.

    • laylagalise

      I would argue that she should have a record deal before Naya because she’s more talented (not thzt Naya’s untalented). But maybe they based the record deal over who besides Lea Michelle got the most songs and screentime.

  • Flip

    She’s like the least-talented of the Nude Erections! WHY does she have a record deal?!

  • elena

    I just worry for the people from Glee getting solo deals, ’cause both Matthew Morrison and Mark Salling’s debuts were fishy quality and sold like crap. I really love Naya Rivera’s voice, but is now really the right time to be coming out with a solo album? I’m curious to see what it’ll sound like, tho…

    • Marianne

      I would rather listen to her sing than Matthew Morrison or Mark though.

    • Anya

      I hope that Naya will make better musical decisions then those two did, it all depends on that.

    • BEt

      I don’t see any of the Glee cast as star material when it comes to recording artist. They all are just throwing things out there and it is not working. Being a recording artist brings a different type of star powere than a TV character even if they are singing characters. Just don’t see any of them having that “It” factor for this.

  • Rob Grizzly

    Artie needs a record deal.

    • Theresa


  • Lannie

    Ha ha leah

  • Jason

    Um, AMBER’S magnificent wailing on “River Deep”? Go back and re-listen – it’s Naya who is singing the higher part on that track. Killer pipes!

  • Marky Mark

    Naya has been my Glee fave for a long time..seriously underrated singer (until now that is), and really glad she scored a deal. Just watched the “river deep” clip and def ranks as one of the best duets Glee has produced…

  • kat

    I love her and her voice but I don’t think she could make anything that could live up to the musical masterpieces Mary Poppins and Summer Rain. Sorry gurl

  • dropper

    Naya more than held her own in RDMH. I love her vocal tone and look forward to hearing an album from here. I just hope she stays away from overly commercial pop, and goes more for an Adele/Amy Winehouse sound. I think that’s where her strengths lie. Though her voice seems to pretty versatile.

    • dropper

      Stupid Droid keyboard. That should have read “hearing an album from HER.” And, “her voice seems to BE pretty versatile.”

  • Sam

    I agree the both Chris and Lea are too Broadway to successfully produce an album that will sell well mainstream (though Susan Boyle may be the exception). I think Darren Criss (if he ever has time) may be the next Glee cast member to release an album, in large part because he had one in the works before he was cast. And it will sell, if only because he has a MASSIVE legion of fangirls (though I’m sure it will be completely brilliant).

    • Marianne

      He does have an EP album called Human. And it is fantastic :)

      • Sam

        It is indeed. I meant like a full length album. But everyone should go and buy Human right now!

    • Frank

      Lea has been selling song for two year not and not just B-way tunes.

      Where have you all been she sells more song than anyone else. One reason she gets to do more songs.

    • Cat

      If either of them got David Foster to producrpe their album they would dominate the charts.

    • LizzieK

      I don’t necessairly understand why people find Broadway so obscure. It used to be a VERY huge part of mainstream culture and now it’s treated like a small little side thing, as if it doesn’t really matter so much anymore. Sure, there are lots of titles today that are unreconizable to many but there are also many who consider it their life’s music.

  • Mike

    She won’t sell, even less than Mark did and I’m saying this as a fan.
    Only Lea would sell with a solo album.

    • maiv

      Mark’s didn’t sell b/c it wasn’t mainstream. And not really marketed, since I literally saw it no where.

    • j

      Lea can do Broadway & Broadway, and she’s boring at both.

      Chris is great but singing-wise he’s Broadway only. He should stick to the stage or more film/tV stuff – he has some range and could branch out in serious film i think.

      I think Naya could be a pop/rock/alt star – she’s got a great and unique voice, she can move, and she’s gorgeous. I could totally imagine her headlining.

      Amber can headline too – she’s great but needs to just watch her pitch sometimes. She can really sing when she tries, though. Her challenge will be separating her album from all the other R&B/soul/belters out there….unless she doesn’t really want to do that and is ok working smaller arenas.

      Mark’s didn’t sell bc the dude is not interesting or that good at singing (saw glee tour live – he is the worst of the bunch)

      I’d love to see something from Jenna because I think her voice is so pure and she’s got a nice edge but no one’s going to sign her because, ahem, RACISM. Eh, maybe I’m being too cynical.

      • j

        I meant to say Lea can do Broadway and Barbara.

      • Actually

        Actually, Lea can do a lot of different genres. She has been successful at pop (Firework), rock (Go Your Own Way), ballads (Jar of Hearts), and of course Broadway. She’s far more versatile than any other vocalist on Glee, including Naya.

      • Marianne

        Agree with Actually. Lea tends to rock any song she sings on Glee.

      • HD

        I hate to be this mean but I literally want Lea to catch a brick in the face when I hear or see her sing! It’s just so over the top in ever direction but the right one.

      • Frank

        HD – you problem not hers. She has sold a lot of songs from many genres. You need to get over petty things like that.

      • Frank

        I am so tired o people saying Lea can only do B-way. What was Don’t stop believing, somebody to love, sing, take a bow, faithfully etc. Please she can do soft rock, pop, country ( need you now) etc.

        If lea was so bad on those songs why do they sell so well. Better that Naya or Amber. Gee My Man do nearly as well as Back to Black. A show tune as well as a top 40 song come on.

      • Ash

        @HD I’ve always said that Lea looks like either A.) She’s trying to bite her own face or B.) her teeth are trying to escape her mouth when she sings. She’s the worst part of Glee.

      • Really

        Ash -you are delusional Rachel Berry is the one of the best parts of glee and that is Rachel singing. Lea singing is not as pronounced. She is directed to be over the top.

      • Jaz

        Are we watching the same show? She does (and sells) a lot more pop and rock than she does Broadway. Find a new argument that actually makes sense please.

  • Jennifer

    It definitely helps one career’s when you are sleeping with a producer on the show.

    • YunaOverdrive

      What the hell are you talking about? Do you know her or work for Glee? I’ve NEVER heard that. I doubt she’s sleeping with Brad if that’s what you are implying.

      • Elle

        Besides aren’t all the producers gay anyway?

      • Jennifer

        She’s not sleeping with Brad. It’s another higher up fox producer. Read the Awful Truth on eonline. She has been a blind vice for ages. It isn’t a coincide that since she broke up with Mark Salling (quite acrimonious break-up) that his role on the show has diminished.

      • Anya

        Ted Casablancas “awful truth” isn’t always true. Some of his “blind vices” seriously read like a bad fan fiction.

      • SC

        Ted Casablancas prints nothing but garbage. A while ago he said Naya was dating Chord and using him to make Mark jealous.

      • MadHater

        LOL Ted Casablanca’s “awful truth” is merely true for being awful. If you watch the show, you’d know for sure why she’s up there now. The girl can REALLY act and sing.

    • LOL

      There is no hope left for you if you believe Ted C. No one in Hollywood is bothered by what he says because everyone knows it’s crap and 100% untrue. I really feel sorry for you if he is the one that influences your opinion on people. I’m pretty sure there are meds for whatever condition it is that you have.

  • arlene

    I love her voice and I’m excited to hear what she comes up with for her solo album. If the album is anything like what she did vocally on ‘Songbird’ ‘Valerie’ or ‘Back to Black’ then it should do pretty well.

  • Stacey

    She won’t sell well. She has no real style I can see. She fits the role on Glee; but Santana has always been one of the weaker singers. Not as bad as Brittany but she won’t do as well. Lea has the best chance to sell well but she’s viewed most of all as a Broadway singer. She does her best on the showtunes. She did well on the power ballads. But will that give her a career who knows. So yeah, I am not convinced Naya will do well! She also does well because Glee autotunes all the weaker singers to make them better than they are…

    • Blerg

      I don’t buy this at all. The reason her Songbird performance is so beautiful is the fact it’s so stripped back. There’s no autotune there, I mean you can even hear her voice crack at one point. Just a girl and piano. It’s so under-produced which is virtually non-existent for Glee.

      I have to say though, when watching Glee the one who I could see being an actual popstar was Naya as she has the ‘whole’ package so to speak.

      She’s very talented (particularly as an actor), so I wish her the best. If her music is good, and I like what I hear? I’ll buy it. Until then we shall wait and see…

    • YunaOverdrive

      Disagree. She probably won’t sell well, but only because America buys crap and not great artists like Naya :)

    • eragon

      Naya’s not a weak singer, there must be something wrong with your ears. If the album fails it won’t be because of weak vocals it’ll be due to poorly produced songs or bad marketing. She’s proven many times that she has the vocals needed to be a solo artist. It’s up to columbia now to see if they can make a great singer into a successful high selling product.

      • HD

        “columbia now to see if they can make a great singer into a successful high selling product.” God, we don’t even pretend anymore it’s about the artistry. Not knocking it but that sentence just really popped out to me.

      • eralane

        I didn’t mean to imply that a successful high selling product wasn’t art, look at Adele’s new album, beautiful art and successful.

      • HD

        I didn’t mean to imply that you were. There’s just a kind of awareness/common sense in that sentence that I wish was common place is all.

    • Anya

      I disagree. I would say she is one of the better singers on the show. And out of everyone on the show, I would say she is one of the few who could pull off a successful pop album. It all just depends on it’s style and production value.

    • Jaz

      I agree. I’m always confused when people praise her voice. She has a great tone but she has serious pitch problems and is seriously untrained. She can’t project and has no strength. Still, give her the right material and America will eat her up. She’s reasonably attractive and that’s all that really matters to some.

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