Music | October 6, 2017 9:51 am

Lin Manuel-Miranda Releases New Single to Help Puerto Rico

The 'Hamilton' creator enlisted some of the biggest Latin stars in music for help.

Lin-Manuel Miranda
Actor Lin-Manuel Miranda speaks onstage during The New Yorker Festival 2015 - Lin-Manuel Miranda Talks With Rebecca Mead at DGA Theater on October 4, 2015 in New York City. (Cindy Ord/Getty Images for The New Yorker)

Lin Manuel-Miranda just released a new original song to raise money for Puerto Rico hurricane relief. But he didn’t do it alone: the Hamilton creator enlisted help from some of the biggest Latin stars in music, reports Page Six.

“Almost Like Praying” features Jennifer Lopez, Marc Anthony, Camila Cabello, Gloria Estefan, Fat Joe, Luis Fonsi, John Leguizamo and Rita Moreno and more. According to Page Six, all proceeds from the download and stream go directly to The Hispanic Federation’s disaster relief fund.

Miranda told The Associated Press that he was like “every Puerto Rican with ties to the island.” He said there were terrible days of silence after the hurricane, for some, it was weeks.

“For me, that helplessness turned into, ‘OK, well what can I write that will help? Can I write a tune that we can monetize?’” he said, according to Page Six. 

He was on vacation in Austria, so he made an a cappella demo in the bathroom. He then sent it to Atlantic Records, and the recording process from there took 72 hours. He flew to a studio in New York City, Los Angeles, and Miami to meet with all the stars, Page Six reports.

The song borrows from the classic song “Maria” from Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim’s West Side Story, according to Page Six. The hurricane that devastated Puerto Rico on Sept. 20 was named Maria.

According to Page Six, the song lyrics list all 78 towns of Puerto Rico. Miranda said inland or mountainous communities have the same needs as the bigger cities and doesn’t want them to be ignored.

“This song is designed so that those towns never feel forgotten again,” he said, according to Page Six. “I cannot wait for Puerto Ricans to hear Luis Fonsi sing the name of their town or J.Lo to sing the name of their town.”

PJ Sin Suela actually recorded his part while on Puerto Rico. He found a studio in San Juan and recorded the verse, but couldn’t get it to Miranda. Estefan flew to Puerto Rico the next day on a relief mission and picked it up.

“Everyone cried, we were in tears. We screamed, ‘We got this verse out of Puerto Rico!’” said Miranda, according to Page Six. “That gives you an example of the effort and the cooperation involved.”