Working to help Puerto Rico as much as he can, Miranda released a new original song Friday, "Almost Like Praying", to raise awareness and money for Puerto Rican hurricane relief. Miranda, the creator and originator of the title role of Hamilton on Broadway, knows firsthand how people with family in Puerto Rico felt after the hurricane hit. We all had a bad few days of silence. For some, those days were weeks. "Following their inspiring lead, I'm compelled to take action and join them to help begin the reconstruction of our handsome country as it starts to recover from these tragic events".
"I waited to hear, are we increasing aid?" I was very aware even as it was happening that this was the worst hurricane to hit Puerto Rico in a hundred years, and I knew that "Maria" would forever have a different connotation on the island as a result of that. Proceeds from the track, which you can listen to or purchase here, will go to the Hispanic Federation's UNIDOS Disaster Relief Fund. "Hopefully, these towns never feel forgotten again".
The song features Jennifer Lopez, Marc Anthony, Camila Cabello, Gloria Estefan, Fat Joe, Luis Fonsi, John Leguizamo and Rita Moreno. There's been a lot of heartbreaking stories coming out of Puerto Rico. Then on Saturday (as in six days ago) Suela emailed Miranda that he had just gotten power back and would love to be part of the song.
"Everyone said yes, sight unseen", he said, although some notable Latin musicians - Pitbull, Daddy Yankee, Ricky Martin - were too busy with their own relief efforts.
Miranda had grown increasingly frustrated at the response to the Puerto Rico disaster, reaching the point of lashing out at President Trump on Twitter and telling him he was going "straight to hell" for attacking San Juan mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz. "I've never seen such mobilization in my life", Miranda said. "And the response from our federal government is not commensurate with the previous two hurricanes, much less up to the unprecedented danger of this disaster itself", Miranda told Rolling Stone.
Rather than creating a mournful number, Miranda said in an interview, he hoped to capture "the spirit of the island".