As Legend sang out the heartfelt lyrics, the video montage featured images — and some audio — of the celebrated legends and icons.
In a touching "In Memoriam" section, this year's Emmy Awards paid respect to the numerous stars and TV producers who died in the previous year. John Legend sang "Pieces," his poignant new song, as a tribute to the countless TV icons who have long captivated viewers with their enduring legacy of great performances. As the part began, Legend played piano, with a film montage in the background of all people who died this year, per E! News. 'Black-ish' star Anthony Anderson, opened the emotional occasion with a moving message. "It never feels like the right time to say goodbye to a loved one, a friend, or a cherished icon. To quote Shakespeare, All the world's a stage, and all the men and women are merely players. They have their exits and their entrances and one man, in his time, plays many parts."
Emmys 2022: John Legend gives moving tribute to Betty White, Anne Heche, Bob Saget, Ray Liotta, Sidney Poitier and more#Emmys2022 #Emmys #EmmyAwards #EmmyAwards2022 #inmemoriam #JohnLegendhttps://t.co/6V6hLZTkbc— OTTplay (@ottplayapp) September 13, 2022
"As we acknowledge the legends within our industry who have passed on, we celebrate all that they created and shared with the world. May they all rest in peace and power," Anderson continued, before introducing John Legend. As Legend sang out the heartfelt lyrics, the video montage featured images — and some audio — of the celebrated legends and icons. Legend's song had fitting lyrics, serving as the perfect ode to the deceased, "The only thing you can do is pick up the pieces / Let your broken heart learn / Learn to live in pieces."
"Golden Girls" icon Betty White, actor James Caan, and "Full House" star Bob Saget were among those honored by the song and montage. Executive producer Reggie Hudlin teased Legend's performance before the gala and explained why they chose 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, per Deadline. “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.”
The full list of those who were honored as part of the tribute includes 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.
Cover image source: Getty Images | Photo by Angela Weiss