Kathie Lee Gifford's tribute to late husband Frank, 'He Saw Jesus,' debuts at No. 1 on Christian chart

TV star Kathie Lee Gifford charts her first entry on Billboard's multi-metric Hot Christian Songs chart, as "He Saw Jesus" debuts at No. 20 on the Oct. 28-dated tally. Powering its start, the ballad launched at No. 1 on Christian Digital Song Sales, with 5,000 downloads sold, according to Nielsen Music.

Inspired by her late husband Frank Gifford, the host of NBC's Today performed the song (which she co-wrote with country songwriter Brett James) on the show the morning of Oct. 12, marking her first Today musical performance since 2008.

Hoda Kotb, Gifford's Today co-host, announced that all proceeds from sales of the song will go to the international relief organization Samaritan's Purse.

Frank Gifford, who played in the NFL for 12 years, all with the New York Giants, and who was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1977, went on to a secondary high-profile career as an announcer and commentator on ABC's Monday Night Football for 27 years. He passed away in 2015 at age 84 after suffering from degenerative brain disease.

Kathie Lee Gifford had last appeared on a Billboard chart nearly 17 years ago, when Heart of a Woman debuted and peaked at No. 170 on the Billboard 200, dated Nov. 11, 2000. She charted three prior titles on the survey: Born for You (No. 139, 2000); It's Christmas Time (No. 125, 1994); and Sentimental (a career-best No. 108, 1993).

She's charted two sets on Top Christian Albums: Born for You (No. 6, 2000) and Christmas Carols (No. 17, 1994).

Watch her performance of "He Saw Jesus" below:

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Kathie Lee, Hoda, and Frank Gifford
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Kathie Lee, Hoda, and Frank Gifford
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Hoda Kotb, Frank Gifford and Kathie Lee Gifford appear on NBC News' 'Today' show (Photo by Peter Kramer/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Hoda Kotb, Kathie Lee Gifford and Frank Gifford appear on NBC News' 'Today' show -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
GREENWICH, CT - MAY 20: Kathie Lee Gifford, her husband Frank Gifford and Hoda Kotb attend the Save the Children Greenwich Leadership Council's 3rd annual Celebration of Hope May 20, 2010 in Greenwich Connecticut. (Photo by Douglas Healey/Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Hoda Kotb, Kathie Lee Gifford and Frank Gifford appear on NBC News' 'Today' show (Photo by Peter Kramer/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
GREENWICH, CT - JUNE 06: (L-R) Frank Gifford, Kathie Lee Gifford, Regis Philbin, Joy Philbin and TV Personality Hoda Kotb attend the Greenwich International Film Festival's Changemaker Gala at L'Escale Restaurant on June 6, 2015 in Greenwich, Connecticut. (Photo by Mark Sagliocco/WireImage)
NBC NEWS EVENTS -- Hoda Kotb Book Launch Party -- Pictured: (l-r) Hoda Kotb, Kathie Lee Gifford and Frank Gifford celebrate the launch of Hoda's book +ÆHow I Survived War Zones, Bad Hair, Cancer and Kathie Lee' with a reception at the townhouse of Donny Deutsch on October 11 in New York City (Photo by Peter Kramer/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 23: Actress Kathie Lee Gifford, Frank Gifford and TV Personality Hoda Kotb attend the American Cancer Society's 2010 'Mother of the Year' award luncheon at The Pierre Hotel on February 23, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by Ben Hider/Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Hoda Kotb, Kathie Lee Gifford and Frank Gifford appear on NBC News' 'Today' show (Photo by Peter Kramer/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
NEW YORK - MAY 13: News correspondent Hoda Kotb and TV personalities Kathie Lee Gifford and Frank Gifford attend the Society of Memorial Sloan Kettering's 2nd annual Spring Ball at The Plaza Hotel on May 13, 2009 in New York City. (Photo by Charles Eshelman/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 23: Actress Kathie Lee Gifford, Frank Gifford and TV Personality Hoda Kotb attend the American Cancer Society's 2010 'Mother of the Year' award luncheon at The Pierre Hotel on February 23, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by Ben Hider/Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Hoda Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford appear on NBC News' 'Today' show -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
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