The late actor’s widow, 30, sang an emotional rendition of “I’ll Be Seeing You” during the telethon.
“We are honored to have Chadwick’s wife #SimoneBoseman here tonight,” the official SU2C Twitter account posted at the time, alongside a snap of her number. “Her incredibly powerful performance reminds us that we all have heroes in our lives. Now is the time to Stand Up for them and with them.”
Before Ledward took the stage during the televised fundraising special, event cohost Anthony Anderson introduced her with a sweet tribute to the late actor of his own.
“Many of us were devastated to learn of Chadwick Boseman’s tragic passing after he privately grappled with cancer for several years,” the Black-ish star, 51, said during the broadcast. “The world lost an incredible artist and a true hero. But before he was a public figure, he was a person like you or me, a son, a brother, uncle, cousin, friend, colleague, husband. Many of us are all too familiar with the fracture a dearly loved one’s passing leaves in the lives of those who love them.”
He concluded his speech, “Here to perform a song about living with the reality of loss and finding a way forward is Chadwick’s wife, Simone.”
The Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom star died in August 2020 at the age of 43 following his battle with colon cancer, which he kept a secret while continuing to work as an actor. His publicist confirmed to Us Weekly at the time that he battled the disease for years before his death, as it progressed from stage III in 2016 to stage IV.
“It is with immeasurable grief that we confirm that passing of Chadwick Boseman,” a statement released on his Instagram read. “A true fighter, Chadwick persevered through it all and brought you many of the films you have come to love so much. From Marshall to Da 5 Bloods, August Wilson’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and several more, all were filmed during and between countless surgeries and chemotherapy. It was the honor of his career to bring King T’Challa to life in Black Panther. He died in his home, with his wife and family by his side.”
Following his death, the Marshall actor won a posthumous Golden Globe trophy for his role in Netflix’s adaptation of the famed August Wilson play.
In response, Ledward delivered a moving speech about her husband during the February 2021 ceremony. “He would thank God. He would thank his parents. He would thank his ancestors,” she tearfully during the broadcast. “He would say something beautiful, something inspiring, something that amplifies that little voice inside of all of us. … I don’t have his words, but we have to take all the moments to celebrate those we love.”