Friends premiered 25 years ago today. To commemorate the extremely popular sitcom’s 25th anniversary, Meghan Trainor was tapped to record a cover of its theme song, “I’ll Be There For You.” Her cover debuted at precisely 8:30PM on New York City’s Z100 radio station to coincide with the timeslot that the show debuted on NBC.
The show’s production company Warner Bros. chose Trainor to cover the song. “I’ve seen every episode multiple times now,” Trainor told Rolling Stone in an interview earlier this week. “I can’t believe they even thought of me to sing this cover. It was a dream come true.” She recruited her family to sing in the background with her and recreate the song’s handclaps.
“I’ll Be There For You” was performed by the American duo the Rembrandts, and was co-written by them (Danny Wilde and Phil Solem) alongside a team that included Friends producers David Crane and Marta Kauffman, Kauffman’s husband, Michael Skloff, and Allee Willis. Apparently, it takes a village to create an inescapable theme song!
The song was, naturally, a commercial hit after Friends premiered in 1994. When it was formally released the following year, it peaked at #17 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Surprisingly, though, it wasn’t even the Rembrandts highest-charting single: They reached #14 with “Just The Way It Is, Baby” a few years earlier in 1990.
The Rembrandts broke up in 1997, but reunited only a few years later. They were honored with a Greatest Hits collection in 2006, and they released a new album earlier this year. At the end of last week, they got together to perform “I’ll Be There For You” on The Today Show.
Hear Trainor’s cover of “I’ll Be There For You” below, presented alongside the Empire State Building lighting up in its honor.