After days of anticipation, Lin-Manuel Miranda’s charity single “Almost Like Praying” has finally been made available to the public, and will be available worldwide by Sunday. All proceeds will benefit Hispanic Federation UNIDOS Disaster Relief Fund.
The Latin-fused track mentions all of Puerto Rico’s 78 towns, as Miranda revealed Thursday night after earlier in the day teasing on Twitter its midnight release.
“I had this idea at 3 in the morning. … The initial demo was me singing in the bathroom,” Miranda told CNN. He later called “every Puerto Rican” he knows to sing on the relief single. “Without even hearing the song, everyone’s joined in,” he shared.
Legendary Puerto Rican actress and singer Rita Moreno, who is featured, confirmed to PEOPLE on Tuesday that Miranda’s single is indeed a remake of the classic West Side Story number “Maria.” (Read the lyrics here.) Earlier in the week, Miranda teased that West Side Story lyricist Stephen Sondheim was involved with the project as well.
Described as his “love letter to Puerto Rico,” the Tony award-winning composer pulled out all the stops when it came to his collaborators, including Moreno, Luis Fonsi, Jennifer Lopez, Marc Anthony, Camila Cabello, and Miranda’s Hamilton co-star Anthony Ramos.
In the wake of Hurricane Maria’s horrific hit on the island of Puerto Rico, Miranda has been incredibly vocal in his support for the U.S. territory and strong criticism of the Trump administration for not doing more to help.
The death toll on the island is now at 34 since the storm hit two weeks ago. To donate to the citizens of Puerto Rico who are in desperate need of help, visit the Hispanic Federation website to learn more about UNIDOS and click on the link here. You can purchase “Almost Like Praying” here.