Ever since Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico, Hamilton composer Lin-Manuel Miranda has been in overdrive to raise awareness and funds to help the devastated island. His tweets went from sunny rays of encouraging positivity to urgent pleas for help, and even some uncharacteristic anger when President Donald Trump decided to attack San Juan’s mayor rather than focus on the relief efforts.
Today, Miranda doubled down on his efforts by releasing a new song — “Almost Like Praying,” a fitting reference to West Side Story, which Miranda samples here — and accompanying video of the behind the scenes process of recording it.
“Almost Like Praying” also features an astonishingly deep bench of singers, rappers, and actors — or, as Miranda described it to Stephen Colbert on Thursday night with a tongue-in-cheek grin, “any Latino person you like.” Here’s the slate:
Marc Anthony, Ruben Blades, Camila Cabello, Pedro Capo, Dessa, Gloria Estefan, Fat Joe, Luis Fonsi, Juan Luis Guerra, Alex Lacamoire, John Leguizamo, Jennifer Lopez, Rita Moreno, Ednita Nazario, Joell Ortiz, Anthony Ramos, Gina Rodriguez, Gilberto Santa Rosa, PJ Sin Suela, Tommy Torres, and Ana Villafañe.
Together, all these artists sing and rap (primarily in Spanish) about their love for Puerto Rico and specifically reference all of its 78 municipalities. By all means listen to the song, but make sure to also check out the video to get the full effect of this huge group of people, coming together in joy and urgency.
The proceeds from “Almost Like Praying” will benefit The Hispanic Federation's Unidos Disaster Relief Fund.