The 2021 Emmy Awards started with a bang when Cedric the Entertainer opened the show with a Biz Markie tribute.

As the host of TV's biggest night, Cedric kicked off the awards show by opening up about how much he loves TV before appearing onstage performing a new TV-themed version of the late rapper's 1989 hit song "Just a Friend." After singing his own verse, Cedric was joined by LL Cool J, Lil Dicky, and Rita Wilson, who all performed with him as Reggie Watts DJ'ed. Soon the entire awards show audience got to their feet and sang along to the chorus.

The 73rd Emmy Awards
Cedric the Entertainer opens the 2021 Emmys with help from some famous friends
| Credit: Cliff Lipson/CBS via Getty Images

Biz Markie, the influential New York rapper known as the Clown Prince of Hip-Hop, died in July at age 57. Although no official cause of death was provided to EW, TMZ reported that the rapper's death was caused by a "series of complications from diabetes that he's been fighting for more than a year."

The 73rd annual Emmy Awards aired live on Sunday on CBS and and streamed on Paramount+. See the full list of 2021 Emmys nominees here.

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