Remembering Cory Monteith

It seems impossible that the news we woke up to yesterday could be true – Glee star Cory Monteith is dead at age 31. Yet for all our wishing that it was a hoax, the truth is that we've lost a young talent, one whose singing career was as unexpected as that of his TV character, Finn.

Finn's back story: the quarterback of fictional McKinley High School's football team, he's blackmailed into joining the glee club by the group's director. Singing in public is never what the popular jock expected to be doing, but as it turns out, he loves singing and performing. In real life, Monteith was an actor rather than a football star, but his fame as a singer was just as surprising as Finn's.

The Glee casting call asked actors to prove they could sing and dance as well as act. Monteith, a musical person and drummer but not a trained singer, did a funny routine using pencils to play Tupperware and wine glasses. It was cute, but it wasn't what the show's producers were looking for. Monteith, however, was exactly what they wanted. The handsome actor looked just like their vision for the singing quarterback, so they asked him to submit a second video – and sing for this one. Monteith amped up the cheese factor for an over-the-top rendition of REO Speedwagon's "Can't Fight This Feeling," and it won him the part.

For an actor with no background in musical theater, Monteith sure managed to win hearts with his songs. Here are a few of our favorites… what's yours?

Don't Stop Believin'

I'll Stand by You

Losing My Religion

Jessie's Girl

Just the Way You Are