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Christina Milian to take over Naya Rivera's role on 'Step Up: High Water'

Christina Milian, left, and Naya Rivera are seen

Christina Milian, left, and Naya Rivera are seen in a composite image. Credit: Composite: Invision / AP / Jordan Strauss, left; Getty Images / Frederick M. Brown

Singer-actress Christina Milian will succeed the late Naya Rivera in the lead role of Collette Jones on "Step Up: High Water."

The cable network Starz, where the series was picked up after two seasons on YouTube Premium, announced Monday that Grammy Award nominee Milian, 39, has begun filming in Atlanta with returning stars including Ne-Yo, Terrence Green and Eric Graise, and fellow new cast member Tricia Helfer.

"I am so excited to join the Step Up family," Milian said in a statement. "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." Grammy-winning R&B artist Ne-Yo said in a long separate statement that while there "is no replacing Naya," who died in July at age 33 in a drowning accident, he is "more than certain of [Milian's] 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. ... "

The drama about the High Water Performing Arts School in Atlanta is a spinoff of the "Step Up" film franchise.

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