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Lin-Manuel Miranda’s “Almost Like Praying” is a “roll call” for hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rican towns

ABC/Heidi Gutman(NEW YORK) -- Lin-Manuel Miranda released "Almost Like Praying" Friday, his star-studded track for Puerto Rico hurricane relief. He explains the song as being a “roll call” for all 78 municipalities of the island, to let them know they haven’t been forgotten.

“The song got written in that terrible silence where no one was hearing anything and anyone with family on the island or friends on the island can relate to this,” Miranda tells ABC Radio.

He says his social media accounts became a place where people attempted to contact loved ones: “’Has anyone heard from Isabela? Has anyone seen anything from Vega Alta?’ So that became the inspiration. I was like, ‘All right, well, this can be a roll call of towns.’”

It’s also a roll call of some of the biggest Latin music stars around. Miranda called upon old friends like Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony, as well as talented singers he’d never met, like Luis Fonsi and Camila Cabello.

His says the recording process was “very bittersweet.”

“It's all your heroes,” he says. “But at the same time we're all there for a very important purpose which is to make as much money as possible for relief efforts in Puerto Rico and make as much noise as possible and also make sure these towns never feel forgotten again.”

As for Miranda, he says he’ll be visiting Puerto Rico as soon as it becomes helpful.

“I'm just trying to be where I can do the most good,” he says. “Making this song happen, making money flow to relief efforts was my first priority and now we have a long rebuilding process so I'll go wherever I'm needed.”

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