Lin-Manuel Miranda Releases 'Almost Like Praying' Benefit Song; Makes Surprise Visit to 'COLBERT'
As BWW reported this week, Tony Award winner Lin-Manuel Miranda assembled an all-star group of Latino artists for his new benefit song, "Almost Like Praying," which was released late Thursday across digital music retailers and streaming services. All proceeds of the tune will go to HispanicFederation.org, to benefit hurricane relief efforts in Puerto Rico, where at least 34 people have died and millions more remain without electricity, food and clean water.
The benefit track features Jennifer Lopez, Marc Anthony, Gloria Estefan, Ana Villafañe, Tommy Torres, PJ Sin Suela, Gilberto Santa Rosa, Gina Rodriguez, Anthony Ramos, Joell Ortiz, Ednita Nazario, Rita Moreno, John Leguizamo, Alex Lacamoire, Luis Fonsi, Fat Joe, Dessa, Pedro Capó, Camila Cabello, Rubén Blades and of course, Miranda himself.
"Almost Like Praying" samples "Maria" from West Side Story, opening with the lyrics "Say it loud and there's music playing; say it soft and it's almost like praying." Throughout the song, the talented group of artists list the names of all the towns in Puerto Rico. Listen to the song below and check out the song's lyrics here.
On last night's LATE SHOW, Stephen Colbert, Nick Kroll, and special guest Lin-Manuel Miranda announced that the #PuberMe celebrity photos challenge raised $1,000,000 for hurricane relief in Puerto Rico. Watch Miranda's surprise appearance below:
In an interview with Billboard, Miranda shared, "Here's the reality: This is an unprecedented disaster and that requires an unprecedented response. I'm hopeful. If you look at my Twitter feed you'll see little kids breaking their piggy banks and donating to Puerto Rico. You'll see companies matching donations from their employees. You'll see teenagers packing supplies. I've been so overwhelmed by how giving the American people and people all over the world, have been. If the government could only match the response of its people towards our recovery, we'd be all right. I think it's been well documented that it's been slow and it's been insufficient commensurate to the challenge ahead."
Lin-Manuel Miranda is an award-winning composer, lyricist, and performer, as well as a 2015 MacArthur Foundation Award recipient. His current musical, Hamilton - with book, music and lyrics by Mr. Miranda, in addition to him originating the title role - opened on Broadway in 2015. Hamilton was awarded the 2016 Pulitzer Prize in Drama and earned a record-breaking 16 Tony Nominations, winning 11 Tony Awards including two personally for Mr. Miranda for Book and Score of a Musical. The Original Broadway Cast Recording of Hamilton won the 2016 Grammy for Best Musical Theater Album. Both Mr. Miranda and Hamilton won the 2016 Drama League Awards for Distinguished Performance and Outstanding Production of a Musical, respectively. For its sold-out Off-Broadway run at The Public Theater, Hamilton received a record-breaking 10 Lortel Awards, as well as 3 Outer Critic Circle Awards, 8 Drama Desk Awards, the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best New Musical, and an OBIE for Best New American Play.