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Amber Riley Sings “I’ll Stand by You” for Glee’s Cory Monteith Tribute: Hear Her Moving Rendition

In need of a good cry? This should help. Hot on the heels of Lea Michele‘s heartbreaking cover of Bob Dylan‘s “Make You Feel My Love” comes Amber Riley‘s contribution to Glee‘s Cory Monteith tribute episode: The Pretenders’ “I’ll Stand by You.”

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Riley, now competing for the Mirrorball Trophy on Dancing With the Stars, will return to the Fox musical series on Thursday, Oct. 10, to honor her late costar, who died of heroin and alcohol toxicity at age 31 in July. Speaking about the special “Farewell to Finn” episode in a recent interview with Ellen DeGeneres, she admitted that she broke down and cried while filming. 

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“Singing the song to him, the specific song that I’m singing…it’s very touching,” she explained. “And people are going to recognize the song.”

The tune is indeed a meaningful one among Gleeks. Monteith himself covered “I’ll Stand by You” in the 10th episode of season one, when his character discovered that his then-girlfriend, Quinn Fabray (Dianna Agron), was pregnant with what he thought was his child.

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Amber Riley and Cory Monteith
Amber Riley and Cory Monteith

Those early days of being on Glee are the memories Riley holds dearest now. “We were laughing and reminiscing while we were there, watching old videos of Cory dancing and our first trip to New York on a private plane and how goofy we were,” she told DeGeneres of reuniting with her former cast mates. “I just try to think of the good memories. And there’s a lot.”

Related: PHOTOS: Lea and Cory's romance

In addition to the songs by Riley and Monteith’s real-life love Michele, Glee‘s tribute episode will feature performances by Naya Rivera, singing The Band Perry’s “If I Die Young,” and Mark Salling, singing Bruce Springsteen‘s “No Surrender.”

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