LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - “Hamilton” musical creator Lin-Manuel Miranda on Friday released a new song for hurricane relief charity efforts in Puerto Rico featuring many of the music industry’s biggest Latin stars.
Jennifer Lopez, Marc Anthony, Gloria Estefan, Rita Moreno Luis Fonsi and many others sing on the English- and Spanish-language song “Almost Like Praying.”
The song, a riff on the tune “Maria” from the Broadway musical “West Side Story,” lists the names of all 78 of Puerto Rico’s towns in its lyrics.
Hurricane Maria, the worst hurricane to hit the U.S. territory in more than 90 years, killed at least 34 people last month and left most of the island without power or access to clean running water.
Miranda, 37, whose parents migrated to the United States from Puerto Rico, said the song was inspired by his own desperate attempts to contact family members after Hurricane Maria, and his frustrations about the pace of aid reaching the island.
“I thought I could work all 78 towns in Puerto Rico into the lyrics of this song and if we did our job right, these towns will never be forgotten again,” the musician told Billboard.
The success of the Tony Award-winning musical “Hamilton” has made Miranda one of America’s most influential Latin celebrities.
He made headlines last week for saying on Twitter that U.S. President Donald Trump was “going straight to hell” for criticizing Puerto Ricans for not doing enough to help themselves.
Miranda on Friday said he had no regrets about his comments.
“I’ve never seen the president of the United States attack the victims of a natural disaster,” he told “CBS This Morning” in an interview. “That has no precedent for me and so those words coming out of me also have no precedent.”
“Almost Like Praying” will benefit the Hispanic Federation’s UNIDOS Disaster Relief Fund for Puerto Rico.
Reporting by Jill Serjeant, editing by G Crosse