John Legend took the stage at the Emmy Awards on Monday to honor the stars who left us during the past year. The "In Memoriam" segment was one of the highlights of the night, with the EGOT winner performing his new song "Pieces."
Anthony Anderson presented Legend and the segment, saying, "It never feels like the right time to say goodbye to a loved one, a friend or a cherished icon."
He added. "To quote Shakespeare, 'All the world's a stage and all the men and women merely players, they have their exits and their entrances, and one man in his time plays many parts.' As we acknowledge the legends within our industry will pass on, we celebrate all that they created and shared with the world. May they rest in peace and power."
During Legend's performance, some viewers criticized the choice of using wide shots to include Legend with the names of the memorialized in the background, making it difficult to read.
Here is the list of people mentioned during the segment: Betty White, David Warner, Emilio Delgado, Peter Scolari, Yoko Shimada, Burt Metcalfe, Jay Sandrich, George Yanok, John Bowman, Jak Knight, Dwayne Hickman, Tony Dow, Roger E. Mosley, Howard Hesseman, Lisa R. Anderson, Amy Lin Johnson, Charles Cappleman, Mercedes Leanza, Marc Pilcher, Tony Walton, Willie Garson, Robert Morse, Bernard Shaw, Larry Sellers, Marilyn Bergman, David Arnold, George Shapiro, Estelle Harris, Liz Sheridan, John Madden, Vin Scully, Nichelle Nichols, Bob Saget, James Caan, Gilbert Gottfried, Cheslie Kryst, Dean Stockwell, Tony Sirico, Jean-Marc Vallée, Michael Nesmith, Louie Anderson, Anne Heche, Paul Sorvino, Ray Liotta and Sidney Poitier.
One notable star that was left out of the televised segment was Olivia Newton-John. However, the Grease alum was listed on the Emmys In Memoriam site online . Other actors omitted included Beverly Hills, 90210 stars Denise Dowse and Joe E. Tata, Pat Carroll (voice of The Little Mermaid's Ursula), Mary Alice, Taurean Blacque, Larry Storch, Lenny Von Dohlen, Maggie Peterson, Charles Siebert, Philip Baker Hall, David Birney, Norm Macdonald and Scoey Mitchell.
Ahead of the gala, executive producer Reggie Hudlin teased Legend's performance and explained why they went with a "new song" for this segment.
"Normally we would not do a new song in a situation like this. We listened with skepticism which quickly turned to wild enthusiasm. This is an incredulous powerful moving song," Hudlin explained during a press conference recently. "You guys are all fans of John Legend, you know how he can grab straight in your heart and break you down. … A John Legend performance is always something to be excited about and the song is unique and special and uniquely suited to the context we'll be putting it in."
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