Atlantic RecordsHamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda has gathered some of the biggest names in Latin music for “Almost Like Praying,” a charity single to raise money for hurricane relief in Puerto Rico. Among the big names on the record: Marc Anthony, Luis Fonsi, Jennifer Lopez, Gloria Estefan, Ruben Blades, Fat Joe, Rita Moreno, and Camila Cabello.
The hook and title of the song are based on the song “Maria,” from the classic musical West Side Story — Maria of course is also the name of the hurricane that devastated the island. Miranda, who wrote the song, called legendary composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim to ask him for permission to use the line “almost like praying” in the track.
“I was acutely aware that the name Maria, which is the name of my favorite song from West Side Story, would forever have a destructive connotation as a result of this natural disaster,” Miranda says in a statement. “So my mind began flipping lyrics from ‘Maria’ to figure out how we could flip this tragedy into something positive.”
The lyrics are a rhyming arrangement of all 78 municipalities of Puerto Rico. The song was recorded last weekend at studios in New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, The Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico, and Miranda himself traveled to each studio to work with the artists.
Proceeds from the song will go to The Hispanic Federation‘s UNIDOS Disaster Relief Fund. This Saturday, a commercial-free telethon featuring the song will air in cities across America on Telemundo, on which all the artists on the record will appear.
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