Lin-Manuel Miranda Remaking West Side Story's "Maria" for Puerto Rico
After Hurricane Maria struck his family’s homeland of Puerto Rico, Lin-Manuel Miranda has made it his mission to support the U.S. territory in their relief efforts: He tweets non-stop, urging his followers to help and asks fellow celebrities to solicit donations for the Hispanic Federation, a non-profit aiding relief and recovery efforts on the island. Now, the creator of Broadway hit Hamilton is drawing on his skills as a composer to make a difference.
It was announced last week that Miranda was creating a new song to raise money for disaster relief. “It’s a love letter to Puerto Rico,” he told CNN. “I had the idea at 3 in the morning….The initial demo was me singing in a bathroom.”
The Tony award winner also revealed that celebrity artists were enthusiastic and determined in their desires to collaborate on the track: “To every artist, I’ve said, ‘Can you help out on this song?’ And they said yes. Without even hearing the song, everyone’s joined in.”
Via Twitter, he’s teased several of the artists he has been working with, which include Marc Anthony and Luis Fonsi. Most recently, Gina Rodriguez hinted at her participation by posting a photo with Miranda and Puerto Rican actress Rita Moreno. “My kind of heroes. Best. Day. Ever. #LinManuelMiranda #RitaMoreno #ComingSoon,” she captioned the photo.
People Chica caught up with Rita Moreno before she headed into the studio with Miranda, and she gave us a sneak peek of what’s to come. “I’m flying to Los Angeles because Lin-Manuel Miranda has written a song to the tune of “Maria” from West Side Story,” she said. “But he’s written new lyrics that mention every single town and city in Puerto Rico.”
RELATED VIDEO: Ricky Martin, Jennifer Lopez & Marc Anthony Post Emotional Pleas for Puerto Rico’s Hurricane Maria Relief
She added, “He’s gotten everybody that he knows to come and record this. I have no idea how it sounds….He’s going to stream it, put it out there to remind people what’s going on in Puerto Rico. My heart is breaking for these poor people. I keep thinking of people who may die because they can’t get their insulin. It’s needless deaths.”
The death toll on the island due to Hurricane Maria rose to 34 on Tuesday morning, Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello announced.
Last week, 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,” in response to Trump’s dig at San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz.
The song is set to release on October 6th.