LATINO VOICES

Lin-Manuel Miranda Drops A Star-Studded Benefit Single For Puerto Rico

"Say it soft and it’s almost like praying, it’s almost like praying.”

10/06/2017 02:04 EDT | Updated 10/06/2017 12:31 EDT

“Hamilton” playwright Lin-Manuel Miranda dropped a benefit single for Puerto Rico on Thursday night that included a large list of famous Latin musicians.

Proceeds from “Almost Like Praying” will go toward the Hispanic Federation UNIDOS Disaster Relief Fund to help support those affected by Hurricane Maria. The track, written by Miranda, incorporates vocals by Jennifer Lopez, “Despacito” singer Luis Fonsi and Gloria Estefan, as well as Broadway stars Rita Moreno, John Leguizamo and Ana Villafañe. 

If the track sounds familiar, that’s because it’s a throwback to the “West Side Story” track “Maria,” where Tony compares his love’s name to a soft prayer. 

“Say it loud and there’s music playing,” Miranda sings. “Say it soft and it’s almost like praying, it’s almost like praying.” 

The songs lyrics feature the names of all 78 cities in Puerto Rico, from Aguadilla to Yabucoa.

Miranda, whose grandparents were raised in Vega Alta, Puerto Rico, has been extremely vocal about getting aid to the storm-ravaged island. After President Donald Trump attacked San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz on Twitter, Miranda said the president was going “straight to hell.”

Miranda has long used his talents to shed light on the struggles of immigrants. He shared what it was like growing up in New York City’s Washington Heights neighborhood in his Tony- and Pulitzer Prize-winning show, “In The Heights.” More recently, he created the outrageously successful play “Hamilton,” which featured a multi-ethnic cast and put a positive lens on the contribution of immigrants to American society.

“Almost Like Praying” will be available worldwide by Sunday

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