Tori Kelly’s rendition of Leonard Cohen’s classic, funereal “Hallelujah” paid respects to the actors, industry stalwarts and behind-the-scenes TV people who have passed away since the 2015 Emmys broadcast.
“Happy Days, Laverne & Shirley, Mork & Mindy – I could talk endlessly about the career in television of the great Garry Marshall,” actor Henry Winkler said of the late actor, director, producer, voice artist and comedian who shaped sitcoms for a generation, before the annual Emmys “In Memoriam” played out.
Kelly took to an acoustic guitar to sing her cover of Cohen’s “Hallelujah” while a video montage highlighted the recently departed in the TV realm. It’s a song that has been tackled by artists across genres since Cohen dropped the song in 1984, including John Cale, Jeff Buckley, Rufus Wainwright (which was featured in the movie Shrek) and many, many more.
Kelly gave the song proper due in terms of the solemnity of the proceedings with her spare, resonant approach and lilting vocals.
The Unbreakable Smile artist has had previous practice with the forlorn, yearning tune before taking center stage at the Emmys. Earlier in September, she performed “Hallelujah” with Jennifer Hudson at the Toronto International Film Festival.