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Jane Lynch Was "Honored" to Lead Cory Monteith Emmy Tribute

Emmy Awards Show, Jane Lynch Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Jane Lynch gave a tearful speech during a tribute for her fallen Glee costar Cory Monteith.

And while there's certainly been some element of controversy surrounding the In Memoriam segment during last night's Primetime Emmy Awards, Lynch defended the touching dedication.

"I was honored to be the one that they asked to remember Cory to the rest of the country," she told E! News at the Fox Emmys after party. "There's a whole generation of kids whose lives have been enriched, and I'm really grateful to our show for that, and Finn Hudson and his openheartedness and inclusiveness is a big reason why kids love our show so much, and he's gone."

PHOTOS: Cory's best lines as Finn on Glee

Lynch also went on to defend the 31-year-old, who tragically passed away earlier this summer due to a lethal combination of heroin and alcohol.

"I think it's important for everybody to know, especially those kids, that he was as bright a light as his character," she added.

During the solemn moment for the Glee star, Lynch told viewers that Monteith was a "gifted and wonderful young man" who was "worthy" of all the love he received from fans.

"It is remarkable and perhaps a little curious how television shows become like families. This summer, on our show Glee, we suffered a painful death in our family," Lynch explained.

READ: Emmy producers defend Cory's tribute

"And I am here to say that all that warmth and that charm, that openhearted quality that we loved in Cory was no act. Cory was a beautiful soul. He was not perfect, which many of us here tonight can relate to. His death is a tragic reminder of the rapacious, senseless destruction that's brought on by addiction."

Earlier this week, amid people voicing their misgivings about the tribute, Emmys executive producer Ken Ehrlich called the decision to include 31-year-old Monteith in a special In Memoriam segment a "personal choice".

PHOTOS: Cory Monteith remembered

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