John Legend To Debut New Song Pieces At the Emmys; Producers Tout Club Ceremony Vibe, Immersive Experience

John Legend will be performing his new song ‘Pieces’ at the 74th Emmy Awards on NBC Sept. 12. It will be the backdrop for the ceremony’s In Memoriam segment. His involvement was revealed by Emmys executive producer Reginald “Reggie” Hudlin during a press event Thursday night.

“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 said. “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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Legend recently posted a tease for ‘Pieces’ on YouTube. You can listen to it below.

The producers also revealed that Zedd, a five-time Grammy-nominated producer and DJ, as the 2022 Emmys’ DJ, and Sam Jay, a standup comic who was twice nominated for Emmys as a writer on Saturday Night Live, as announcer.

The transformation of the Emmys telecast’s look and feel started last year when the same executive producers, Hudlin and Ian Stewart, ditched the stadium seating in favor of seating nominees at tables.

The process is being accelerated this year, with the table party setup put “on steroids” compared to 2021, Stewart said.

Added Hudlin, “It’s not a stuffy place, it’s more like a club, it’s like a hot restaurant”

The producers explained that the LA Live auditorium is being transformed to allow a transportation into “different worlds,” using the surround screens that wrap around the dinner party setup to immerse the audience into their favorite shows. They demonstrated the experience with a scene from Squid Game projected on screens as a mock-up.

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