Breaking News Emails
When Hurricane Maria battered Puerto Rico, it was personal for 'Hamilton' creator Lin-Manuel Miranda, whose family hails from the island.
While grappling with not hearing from his Puerto Rico family for days and absorbing the extent of the devastation, Miranda decided to harness his artist friends and create a musical tribute to his beloved isla.
The result is the single "Almost Like Praying," a catchy tune sung by an an array of singers and artists — from Luis Fonsi (Despacito), JLo and Marc Anthony and Gina Rodriguez — all Puerto Rican — to the iconic Gloria Estefan, Ruben Blades and Juan Luis Guerra, who hail from nearby countries and have deep ties to the island.
The multi-generational ensemble, which includes young artists like Cuban-American Camila Cabello and Puerto Rican rapper PJ Sin Suelo, scrambled to record the song in a matter of days, Lin-Manuel Miranda told NBC News.
"The response of the artists I contacted for the relief effort, to a person, were yes, even if they hadn't heard the song," said Miranda. "They just said yes because they wanted to find a way to help."
The song's title and chorus, "Almost Like Praying" comes from the musical West Side Story's well-known song, "Maria." In Lin-Manuel Miranda's creation, the artists name all 78 towns in Puerto Rico as well as places and historical moments, from the Cuevas de Camuy (caves in the island) and the Grito de Lares (a short-lived but significant pro-independence uprising in 1868).
All of the proceeds from the sale of the song go to the Hispanic Federation, an organization started by his father, Luis A. Miranda, Jr., that is raising money and giving aid to the victims in the island.
Lin-Manuel Miranda will join his fellow high school classmate, MSNBC host Chris Hayes, on All In with Chris Hayes on Friday, Oct. 6 at 8 p.m.ET, to talk about the relief efforts and the situation in Puerto Rico.