This week, "Glee" will say goodbye to Cory Monteith. During Thursday's episode, titled "The Quarterback," the cast will join together to mourn his character, Finn Hudson. And, as always, music will play a vital part in the story.
MTV News has an exclusive first listen of Naya Rivera's (Santana) cover of the mournful country ballad, "If I Die Young," originally recorded by The Band Perry. The Grammy-nominated, chart-topping song was written by the group's leading lady, Kimberly Perry. It was featured on the band's 2010 self-titled debut album and would go on to become a crossover hit for the trio of siblings.
"If I Die Young" is one of the many tracks included in Thursday's episode, the last before the show goes on hiatus. In a preview teased last week, Monteith's real-life and onscreen girlfriend, Lea Michele, covered "Make You Feel My Love," written and recorded by Bob Dylan in 1997 and later covered by Adele.
The other songs featured in the episode will include "Seasons Of Love" ("Rent") performed by the full cast, "I'll Stand By You" (The Pretenders) performed by Amber Riley's Mercedes, "Fire & Rain" (James Taylor) performed by Chord Overstreet's Sam and Kevin McHale's Artie and "No Surrender" (Bruce Springsteen) performed by Mark Salling's Puck.
All the net proceeds from the sales of the tracks in the U.S. and Canada will be donated by Columbia Records, Fox, and the artists to Project Limelight Society, an organization that promotes the cultural arts for young people in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside. Monteith, who died on July 13 in Vancouver at the age of 31, was a native of Calgary, Canada.
Details about Finn's death on the show have not yet been confirmed. Show creator, Ryan Murphy, recently opened up about filming the episode, noting it was "incredibly difficult to work on."
"The episode is called 'The Quarterback,' and Cory really was that to that group of people and to me particularly," Murphy said. "That group of kids particularly went through the limelight and became world famous at a very difficult age, and many of them really struggled with it ... Cory obviously very much struggled with it, but never on the surface, and I think that's why everybody loved him. He was the most kind, the most generous — never a bad word for anybody."