The actor and singer embodied a 1960s Motown look as she took the “Kimmel” stage Thursday to introduce a new song, “A Moment,” with lyrics about overcoming loss.
“I’m ready to fight, I’m ready to see what’s on the other side,” she sang. “I’m ready to cry, and just let it be ... I don’t have much pride, I’ll put that aside to get back to me.”
At the conclusion of the song, Riley glanced up at a portrait of Rivera that appeared on a video screen behind her.
“Not too long ago, we both lost a really amazing friend in a tragic accident,” he said. “We both will miss her forever.”
Prior to Thursday, Riley had expressed her grief over Rivera’s death in a number of emotional social media posts.
Days later, she opened up further.
“I’m so mad the world will never see how high you could have soared,” Riley wrote on Instagram July 23. “Her brain was brilliant. She was smart and as quick as a whip. Always had me in stitches, we would be in tears laughing so hard at one another.”
“You deserved better,” she added. “You were so much more than just this show. Your talent outshined us all so many times!”
“A Moment” will reportedly be featured on Riley’s forthcoming EP, due out Oct. 2.
Watch Riley perform on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” below.