The 2011 Daytime Emmy Awards wouldn’t really have been complete without some sort of tribute to Oprah Winfrey and her 25 years of talk. So, it was only appropriate that icons like Gladys Knight, Celine Dion, Ellen DeGeneres and protégés like Dr. Oz and Dr. Phil appeared to present Winfrey with the Crystal Pillar Award.
Knight was first on stage.
“As the world knows, The Oprah Winfrey Show has come to an end,” the legendary singer said. “Oprah, you may be off the air for now, but you will never, never be out of our hearts.”
She then launched into a version of That’s What Friends Are For that was intermixed with clips from The Oprah Winfrey Show.
“Oprah, thank you for being the dean of Oprah University and teaching me the fundamentals of hosting,” Dr. Oz said.
Finally, Celine Dion ended the presentation live from her show at Caesars Palace with a rendition of her song Because You Loved Me.
“I’m honored to be able to participate in this wonderful tribute to my dear friend Oprah!” Dion said.
Yes, it was just as over-the-top as it seems — especially since Oprah wasn’t even there in person to accept the award.
“We are sorry we couldn’t be there to celebrate,” said Winfrey with her Harpo staff. “On behalf of the entire team, we thank you for honoring our show, we thank you for 25 years. This show has served as a platform to enlighten and entertain our millions of viewers… it has been a phenomenon that [none] of us could have imagined in our wildest dreams. None of this would have been possible without the support of the best team in television. Thank you!”
Watch Celine Dion perform Because You Loved Me for Oprah