Broadway Stars Release 'What the World Needs Now Is Love' Cover for Orlando, Will Perform on NBC's Maya & Marty
Just three days after the Orlando gay nightclub massacre, the theater community banded together to raise their voices together in love and support for the victims and their families.
An A-list chorus – including Sarah Jessica Parker, Carole King, Idina Menzel, Kristen Bell, Audra McDonald and Lin-Manuel Miranda – gathered June 15 at Avatar Studios in Manhattan, where a PEOPLE reporter watched as they recorded a cover of the 1965 hit “What the World Needs Now Is Love.”
On Monday, Broadway for Orlando released the music video for the moving benefit single, the proceeds from which will go to the LGBT Center of Central Florida.
And Tuesday, talent who recorded the cover will perform the song live for the first time out of the studio on Maya Rudolph and Martin Short’s new comedy show Maya & Marty, airing at 10/9c on NBC.
“All of us in the Broadway community are deeply saddened by the senseless tragedy that occurred in Orlando in the early morning hours of June 12,” an assortment of stars – including organizers Seth Rudetsky and James Wesley – say in the beginning of the clip.
“We send our love and support and thoughts and prayers to everyone impacted by this act of violence and hate. This terrible cycle of violence and intolerance must end. We want to put out as much love into the world as we can because only love can conquer hate. Love must prevail.”
Sara Bareilles, Gloria Estefan, Joel Grey, Jessie Mueller, Kelli O’Hara, Bernadette Peters and more contributed solos to the track, which is available to download on BroadwayRecords.com for $1.99.
Forty-nine were killed and more than 53 injured when Omar Mateen entered gay Orlando nightclub Pulse and opened fire.
“I woke up Monday morning feeling completely helpless,” organizer and producer Wesley said during the recording session. “I’m a complete news junky did not want to watch the news at all. I went for a bike ride at 5:30, went down, and at 6:30 had Dionne Warwick’s ‘What the World Needs Now Is Love’ [stuck in my head], and I thought, ‘Oh my gosh: It’s like ‘We Are the World.’ We have to come together and do this song.'”
Broadway for Orlando’s “What the World Needs Now Is Love” will also be available for purchase on iTunes.