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Lopez, Estefan, Moreno Join Lin-Manuel Miranda in Song for Puerto Rico

Almost Like Praying

Dozens of artists join in on Miranda's song to help raise money for hurricane relief in Puerto Rico.

Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda has been outspoken about Donald Trump's lack of empathy in getting help to Puerto Rico in the weeks after Hurricane Maria essentially leveled the island, leaving residents without power, potable water, and access to food or fuel. But beyond tweeting his disdain of Trump's handling (if his response could be called that) of the disaster, Miranda pulled together dozens of artists for the new song "Almost Like Praying" to raise money for hurricane relief.

Among the artists featured in the song are Miranda himself, Jane the Virgin star Gina Rodriguez, Marc Anthony, Ruben Blades, John Leguizamo, Fat Joe, and legends Rita Moreno, Gloria Estefan, and Jennifer Lopez.

The song's title is a musical allusion to West Side Story's ballad "Maria" -- that musical, of course, is a modernized Romeo and Juliet with a subplot about the racial tension between whites and Puerto Rican people trying to assimilate in 1950s New York City.

Miranda made headlines late last month for tweeting that Trump was "going straight to hell" after the tweeter in chief blamed the mayor of San Juan, Carmen Yulin Cruz, because she dared ask for more help rather than praise the Trump administration's "recovery" efforts. In a series of Saturday morning tweets, Trump accused Cruz of "poor leadership" and said that the Puerto Rican people, the ones who'd been without power, water, food, and medications in stifling heat and humidity for more than a week, "want everything done for them."

That's when Miranda tweeted, "You're going straight to hell, @realDonaldTrump. No long lines for you. Someone will say, "Right this way, sir." They'll clear a path."

But once Miranda called out Trump for his inaction and for playing the blame game with the mayor who was in the trenches with the people of Puerto Rico, the Tony-winning composer got to work on "Almost Like Praying." The track can be downloaded from the "Almost Like Praying" website, and proceeds will go to the Hispanic Federation's efforts toward Puerto Rico disaster relief.

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Tracy E. Gilchrist