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Lin-Manuel Miranda releases a star-studded Puerto Rico tribute song, 'Almost Like Praying'

Libby Hill, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Entertainment News

Lin-Manuel Miranda's "Almost Like Praying" tribute to Puerto Rico is over and the fundraising song was worth the wait.

The Tony-winning "Hamilton" creator released the song at midnight Thursday night, featuring a murderers row of Latin superstars including Jennifer Lopez, Marc Anthony, Camila Cabello, Gloria Estefan, Fat Joe, Luis Fonsi, John Leguizamo and Rita Moreno.

"I was like every Puerto Rican with ties to the island, with family on the island. We all had a terrible few days of silence. For some, those days were weeks," Miranda told the Associated Press. "For me, that helplessness turned into, 'OK, well, what can I write that will help? Can I write a tune that we can monetize?'"

Inspired by "Maria" from "West Side Story" -- a tune that shares a name with the hurricane that ravaged the island on Sept. 20 -- "Almost Like Praying" mentions all 78 towns in Puerto Rico, from the coast, to the mountains, to the smaller islands along the shore.

Other artists featured in the song include Ruben Blades, Pedro Capo, Dessa, Juan Luis Guerra, Alex Lacamoire, Ednita Nazario, Joell Ortiz, Anthony Ramos, Gina Rodriguez (the "Jane the Virgin" star raps!), Gilberto Santa Rosa, Tommy Torres and Ana Villafane.

Ricky Martin and Daddy Yankee were also invited to take part but were already too busy assisting with hurricane recovery to participate.

Miranda was excited about how fervent people's desire to aid Puerto Rico has been, but couldn't say the same for the federal government.

"This was an unprecedented disaster and requires an unprecedented federal response. They have not yet gotten an unprecedented federal response," Miranda said to the AP. "I am longing and waiting and jumping up and down for a federal response to match the response of our people."

All proceeds from downloads and streams of "Almost Like Praying" go to the Hispanic Federation's disaster relief fund.

The song is available on Spotify, iTunes, Tidal and more.

The Hispanic Federation's disaster relief fund is accepting donations online.

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