Hoda Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford might have looked like they were playing twins on their “Today” fourth hour for February 28, but Hoda made it clear to her co-host that “Today is your day, not mine.” It was a double dose of antiperspirant kind of day for Kathie Lee, because of both thrill and anxiety.

Yesterday, a few snippets were shown of her collaboration with Nashville-based songwriter, Brett James, for the song, “Love Me to Death,” which happens to be the title track of a new independent film project that the creative partners already have in production.

This morning was the full-scale national debut for the title song, and it was clearly evident that Kathie Lee Gifford was having the kind of parental nerves that songwriters often describe when introducing one of their “babies”— a new song.

Paired by destiny

The creative coming together of Kathie Lee Gifford with “Jesus Take the Wheel” songwriter, Brett James, had to have been destiny. Besides his many songwriting credits and awards, James has been a much-recognized artist in his own right, recording solo albums across genres from country to piano solos. He also recorded a pop-jazz fusion Christian contemporary album, “Pax Christi,” released in 2006. The songwriter shares Oklahoma roots with Gifford, who attended Oral Roberts University.

Music is healing for many people through times of grief, and it was Brett James who literally brought music to Kathie Lee when he heard just the opening lyric of the song written to honor the faith of her husband, Frank Gifford, who passed in August of 2015. The best songs come naturally as if meant to be, and when James had a quick chat with Kathie, who just mentioned the song in passing as something she'd like to do, he called minutes later, insisting, “let's do it.”

That song, “He Saw Jesus,” which also debuted on “Today” last October, had its essence in the simple opening line detailing how the day started in the Gifford home, with “a little kiss, a little coffee, a little moment to pray.” The rest of the song truly seemed heaven-sent, with comforting words from Frank being received and wrapped in the loving arms of God.

The song became an iTunes hit for Kathie Lee Gifford and her collaborator and accomplished a greater purpose in guiding many who heard it while feeling motionless in grief. Countless social media expressions let Kathie Lee know that hope was coming through on the horizon. Proceeds from the song went to Samaritans Purse for storm relief.

Kathie Lee Gifford never felt “adequate” to be the singer for the track, but Brett James told her to sing it anyway. She thought she would serve as a “demo “ fill-in temporarily. James later added a few post-production touches, but her vocals remained the same. In late December last year, the co-host performed the song on “Today,” her first live performance from her morning set since 2008. Her reception was even more welcoming. Kathie Lee Gifford and Brett James became the names under the title for another song, “Jesus Is His Name,” which she performed for the national Christmas tree lighting ceremony, and again on the “Today” stage.

Music has opened a new world again for Gifford, and the songs for “Love Me to Death” seem to be flowing with the same ease and inspiration as last year's compositions.

Timeless tunes among friends

Kathie Lee and Hoda already had a blast bringing their harmonizing to “The Voice” this week, never short on spirit. Performing is taking up a huge portion of the Kathie Lee Gifford appointment calendar, but it's clearly not a chore. While Gifford and James were finishing up on “He Saw Jesus,” James happened to see lyrics for another song in Kathie Lee's bag. “These are beautiful, let's write that next,” insisted the songwriter.

The song created at that moment is not “Love Me to Death,” but every three months, another new song from the film will be released, along with tidbits about the production.

Some of the strictly religious contingents of Kathie Lee Gifford fans may wish to shield their ears because a few swear words float in the lyrics, but the sentiment is a celebration of pure, lifetime love, much like the singer herself has known.

The collaboration is part of a film score, not following a Sunday sermon. Only the best of friends can speak honestly about who is the better singer, followed by a playful “Shut up!”

One key lyric is “What a way to go, what a way to die if just this once I get to feel this alive.” Any person who has ever loved completely, and loved deeply, will feel that wish to the core of the heart and the soul. “Thank you, Brett!” Kathie Lee signed off following the video. She has found a new reason for grace and gratitude in this new age of music.