Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda enlists an all-star cast to create “Almost Like Praying for Puerto Rico,” a benefit single and video for the island, which has suffered devastation at the hands of Hurricane Maria.
From Latin legends to pop stars, the song features a wide variety of artists, including Jennifer Lopez, Camila Cabello, Luis Fonsi, Rubén Blades, Marc Anthony, and Gloria Estefan. Rappers Fat Joe, Joell Ortiz, and Dessa also lend their vocal stylings to the track, providing rhymes and ad-libs throughout.
Actors John Leguizamo and Gina Rodriguez offer their vocals too. The latter even delivers raps like she did in Filly Brown. Each of the stars appears in a studio-shot video, that splashes sessions together to make for a moving accompaniment.
“Say it loud and there’s music playing,” sings Miranda. “Say it soft and it’s almost like praying.” The lyric pulls inspiration from “West Side Story’s” “Maria,” as a way to reclaim the name, according to Miranda.
The song was inspired by 78 towns in Puerto Rico, which are shouted out throughout the track. “I spent the weekend reaching out to the amazing Puerto Rican artists, if they would like to be involved in the creation of the song,” Miranda told Spotify. “To a person, everyone immediately said yes. What began as a way of making myself useful while waiting for word from the island, has become this artistic statement, this rallying cry for Puerto Rico, and this invocation of our towns, our pueblos, where our families are from, so they never feel forgotten, ever again.”
All proceeds from the single will go towards the Hispanic Federation’s UNIDOS Disaster Relief Fund.