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Lea Michele tearfully accepts Teen Choice Award, pays tribute to Cory Monteith [VIDEO]

By KATE STANTON, UPI.com

In her first public appearance since Cory Monteith's death shocked the entertainment world, Lea Michele accepted a Teen Choice Award on Sunday with a personal and emotional statement about her late boyfriend and co-star.

Flanked by a few of her "Glee" co-stars, Michele struggled to hold back tears as she thanked fans for their well wishes in the weeks since Monteith's death.

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“Thank you guys. Thank you. I just wanted to be here today to personally thank all of you and tell everyone out there how much your love and support has meant to me over these very past few difficult weeks,” the 26-year-old said when she accepted her award for Choice TV Actress in a Comedy.

“Not that I had any doubt before, but you guys are most certainly the greatest fans in the world and I wanted to dedicate this award to Cory,” she said.

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For all of you out there who loved and admired Cory as much as I did, I promise that with your love we’re going to get through this together. He was very special to me and also to the world. We were very lucky to witness his incredible talent, his handsome smile, and his beautiful beautiful heart. So whether you knew him personally or just as Finn Hudson, Cory reached out and he became a part of all of our hearts and that’s where he will stay forever. So thank you guys so much. Thank you.

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