Jennifer Hudson Performs Song From NBC’s Defunct ‘Smash’ During Oscars In Memoriam Tribute

Award show executive producers Neil Moran, Craig Zadan also executive produced NBC’s musical series

Jennifer Hudson at the Oscars

The Oscars is supposed to be film’s biggest night, but on Sunday the awards ceremony borrowed from television.

Jennifer Hudson performed “I Can’t Let Go” after the In Memoriam portion of 87th Oscars. It’s a touching ballad and thematically appropriate, but it’s also an original song from the short-lived NBC music series “Smash.”

Oscars executive producers Neil Moran and Craig Zadan were both also executive producers on “Smash,” canceled in 2013, so clearly they knew where the song had originated.

Hudson appeared on three episodes of the network drama, including on the season two episode “The Song.” Characters Jimmy Collins (Jeremy Jordan) and Kyle Bishop (Andy Mientus) collaborate to write “I Can’t Let Go” on the episode for Hudson’s character Veronica, which she eventually winds up singing.

In real life, Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman wrote the “I Can’t Let Go.” The song was eventually released as a single on iTunes and moved over 11,000 units.