Music acts including Britney Spears, Selena Gomez, and the group Imagine Dragons have collaborated on a song, “Hands,” which will be released on July 6 and the revenue for which will help the GLBT Community Center of Central Florida, the Equality Florida Pulse Victims Fund, and GLAAD. It’s the newest effort by the artistic community to help Orlando in the wake of the June shooting and the latest song by artists to benefit a charitable cause.
The song, which is released by Interscope Records and GLAAD, also features artists such as Meghan Trainor, RuPaul, Gwen Stefani, Juanes, Pink, Jennifer Lopez, and Mary J. Blige as well as many other musicians.
Songwriter Justin Tranter, who co-wrote the song with Julia Michaels and BloodPop, remembered the response when he contacted The Center Orlando, a community center with an LGBT focus, following the Orlando shooting.
“I called them and said, 'If I fly up, is there something for me to help with?'" he said in an interview with Billboard. "They say, 'We need as many hands as we can possibly get.'”
The release of “Hands” follows the recent recording of the song “What The World Needs Now Is Love,” which was composed and written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David, by various Broadway stars, including Lin-Manuel Miranda, Audra McDonald, and Sara Bareilles. Proceeds for the song are going to the LGBT Center of Central Florida and the track hit number one on the iTunes song download chart in late June.
Some of the most famous songs that focused on a cause have included “Do They Know It’s Christmas?,” which was performed by Band Aid in 1984 to help with hunger in Africa and has been redone multiple times, and “We Are the World,” which was first recorded in 1985 and the revenue for which helped those suffering from hunger in Africa. “World” has also been performed again since its initial release.
It seems that earlier efforts helped to inspire others. Seth Rudetsky, who helped organize the recent recording of “What The World Needs Now Is Love,” told the Hollywood Reporter that his husband James Wesley, a producer, had the idea to record “We Are The World” following the Orlando shooting.
“The Broadway community was so terribly shaken and devastated by the horrific tragedy in Orlando,” Mr. Rudetsky said. “Everyone wanted to do something as quickly as possible that would truly make a difference. On Monday, my husband James woke me up at 7:30 a.m. and suggested we rally our friends and colleagues to do a ‘We Are the World’-type recording and raise money for the victims and their families. We started making calls and suddenly we had tons of theater actors along with an orchestra and the services of a fully staffed recording studio, all willing to donate their time and talent. 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.”