Scores of Broadway stars are collaborating on a song to benefit the victims and families of the Orlando nightclub massacre. As Playbill reports, the artists are recording the 1965 Hal David and Burt Bacharach-penned song, "What the World Needs Now is Love." Proceeds will benefit the LGBT Center of Central Florida, which has been working with victims' families and providing crisis counseling. The Center also set up a GoFundMe page, whose proceeds go directly to victims and their families.
More than 60 stars are participating on the track, including Audra McDonald, Idina Menzel, Wayne Brady, Matthew Broderick, Sara Bareilles, Kristen Bell, Gloria Estefan, Megan Hilty, Rosie O'Donnell, Sarah Jessica Parker, Sutton Foster, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Bernadette Peters, Fran Drescher, Nathan Lane, Sean Hayes, Whoopi Goldberg and many others.
This is a teaser from a beautiful day built on intention...asking for more love in the name of #BroadwayforOrlando with just about every huge heart on Broadway and Beyond. @sethrudetsky and co have done wondrous things and I am honored to be among the voices lifted in love. I'm saving the sound so you hear the finished product. #yawelcome #love
Broadway Records President Van Dean, musical director/radio host Seth Rudetsky and his husband, producer James Wesley, spearheaded the initiative, which they are calling Broadway for Orlando."The Broadway community was so terribly shaken and devastated by the horrific tragedy in Orlando. Everyone wanted to do something as quickly as possible that would truly make a difference," Rudetsky said in a statement. The song's organizers were inspired by 1985's "We Are the World" benefit for Africa. "Our community of artists has banded together as we always do to show we can end this cycle of violence and intolerance. Love WILL prevail!," he continued.
The digital download of "What the World Needs Now is Love," which is being produced in conjunction with Playbill at Avatar Studios, will be available on Monday via Broadway Records' website. It will also be available on iTunes. Playbill plans to release an accompanying video at a later date.Lin-Manuel Miranda penned a sonnet as a tribute to his wife and the victims of the Orlando massacre for his Tony Awards acceptance speech. Watch here.