During the January 15 Emmys, the soundtrack for this year's in memoriam segment was provided by Charlie Puth, who sang a mash-up of his hit "See You Again" and a slowed-down version of the theme from Friends. Emmy producers have now revealed that a viral video landed Charlie the job.
In October, Charlie performed the Friends theme song — The Rembrandts’ “I’ll Be There for You” — during a show in Melbourne, Australia. He then launched into 2015's "See You Again," which was originally written for the movie Furious 7 as a tribute to late actor Paul Walker.
Charlie, a Friends superfan, performed the song the day after Matthew Perry died at age 54; his performance quickly went viral. One of the producers told Variety that video inspired them to have him perform both songs during the Emmys, along with the husband-and-wife duo The War & Treaty.
“We were like, we’ve got to find a way to bring all of this together. And when we pitched it to each of them, they were both thrilled,” producer Dionne Harmon said. “They’re fans of each other. They’re all three true musicians. They worked together offline and created the arrangement together."
"We were all in tears the first time we heard them perform it," she added. "It’s crazy how the lyrics of that [Friends theme] have a completely different context when you slow it down and let it breathe and show these amazing pictures [of people who passed away].”