After a year heavy with loss, Leon Bridges and Jon Batiste teamed up with a moving ‘In Memoriam’ set at the 73rd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards on Sunday night (September 19) to honor the late greats of the television world.
As the musicians began to perform an unplugged version of Bridges’ “River,” photos of Larry King, Norm Macdonald, Christopher Plummer, Alex Trebek, Cicely Tyson, Jessica Walter, Dawn Wells, Michael K. Williams, and more scrolled one by one for a touching tribute.
Also among them were three Mary Tyler Moore cast members—Ed Asner, Cloris Leachman, and Gavin MacLeod—and two actors from Homicide: Life on the Street, Yaphet Kotto and Ned Beatty.
According to reporting from WWLTV, Batiste, a New Orleans native wore a suit on the Red Carpet patchworked with photos of the devastation from Hurricane Katrina.
“River”—released in 2015 as part of Bridges’ breakthrough album, Coming Home— provided a poignant backdrop for the memorial. Batiste and Bridges both began the Gospel-steeped song on acoustic guitar, introducing the segment with enchanting harmonies. Before closing out, Batiste took a seat behind the piano, driving the message home with a stunning contribution from the keys.
Watch Jon Batiste and Leon Bridges perform “River” below.
Photo Courtesy of CBS/Viacom (Invision/AP)