The segment was introduced by Tina Fey, who delivered a heartfelt and passionate speech about the connection people feel with celebrities that they've grown up with and watched for years, and said, "Tonight, we celebrate the lives of some people who have been our very good friends."
Set to the vocal performance of the late Aretha Franklin, singing a rendition of "Amazing Grace," the touching segment included the traditional montage of photos and videos showing those celebs who died over the last 12 months.
This year, we also lost some show business icons whose work had a massive impact on both television and film, including the Queen of Soul herself, acclaimed playwright and screenwriter Neil Simon, and musical producer Craig Zadan, who recently worked alongside John Legend, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice on the Emmy-winning production of Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert.
The segment also remembered U.S. Senator John McCain, who died on Aug. 25 after a battle with brain cancer. The politician's inclusion among the tributes to those in the entertainment field was a surprise to some, but was a touching remembrance to his storied career.
Another celebrity who had a prominent spot in the touching tribute was world-renowned chef and travel documentarian Anthony Bourdain.
Bourdain's untimely death, at the age of 61, came as a massive shock to the entertainment world, but his life and legacy were honored during the Creative Arts Emmy Awards on Sept. 9. The TV personality won two posthumous Emmy Awards, while his show took home a grand total of five Emmys at the event.
While the segment honored many of the biggest celebrities who died over the last 12 months, there were a few stars who were not included in the televised broadcast due to time restrictions and editorial choices.
In an effort to respect all of those in the entertainment field who've died, the Television Academy maintains an online database that serves to provide what they hope is "a venue for the acknowledgment of the television community as a whole."