- Natalie Dreier, Cox Media Group National Content Desk
He’s using his megastar power not for another blockbuster Broadway show, but rather to help those who lost everything when Hurricane Maria decimated Puerto Rico.
Lin-Manuel Miranda, the man behind the hits of “Hamilton” and “Moana,” said he pulled every favor he could to get an all-star group together to help raise money to help out Puerto Ricans who are trying to put their lives back together.
“We’re facing a humanitarian crisis right now. 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.
He came up with the song “Almost Like Praying,” which dropped to online music services like iTunes, Thursday. All of the proceeds will go to the Hispanic Federation’s Unidos Disaster Relief Fund to take supplies to the island.
Included on the track are Hispanic stars like Jennifer Lopez, Marc Anthony, Gloria Estefan and Rita Moreno.
The song is made up of the 78 towns on the island.
And Miranda himself knows first hand about the devastation. He has family and friends still living in Puerto Rico.
“I heard from my family four days after, five days after - some people are still waiting,” he told USA Today.
There’s a connection between the song and the hurricane, other than the hope of help it will bring. Hurricane Maria shares the name of the main female character in “West Side Story,” and Miranda used what he called his favorite song from the musical, USA Today reported.
“The name ‘Maria’ forever has a negative connotation for this island. It’s the worst storm in 100 years. It’s also the name of my favorite song from “West Side Story.” I kept thinking about that song, so I took a sample from the song “Maria,” to flip it. To literally flip the sample the same way we’re trying to flip the natural disaster into something positive,” Miranda said.
In two weeks since Hurricane Maria hit the island, only just over 9 percent of those living there have power and most homes still don’t have running water, CNN reported.