Lin-Manuel Miranda talks Puerto Rico song, "Almost Like Praying"


Last Updated Oct 6, 2017 7:36 AM EDT

Lin-Manuel Miranda, the son of Puerto Rican parents, has launched his own project to support hurricane relief for Puerto Rico. Much of the island remains without power and many continue to struggle with access to food and water weeks after Hurricane Maria made landfall.

Miranda, best known for his hit musical "Hamilton," released a new song, "Almost Like Praying," featuring an all-star lineup of artists including Jennifer Lopez, Marc Anthony, Gloria Estefan and many others. "Almost Like Praying" will benefit the Hispanic Federation's UNIDOS Disaster Relief Fund for Puerto Rico and will also be featured in a special program on Telemundo Saturday.

Miranda joined "CBS This Morning" to discuss why he decided to write the song, how it all came together and his recent tweets slamming President Trump for the federal response in Puerto Rico.

The award-winning playwright said it was important that the song not only raise awareness, but have a life of its own. 

"I also wanted to make it as catchy as any other song I'd write," he said. "It's for a good cause but I want it to spread on its own." 

Much of the new track's lyrics are the names of the 78 towns in Puerto Rico. Miranda said he was inspired by the frantic calls on social media from those on the island who were hoping to hear something about the towns, cut off from communication, where loved ones were. 

"What I saw on my Facebook feed -- and I'm sure a lot of other Latinos feel the same way -- was this roll call of towns. 'Has anyone heard from Isabela? 'Has anyone heard from 'San Juan?' 'My grandmother is in Lares,'" Miranda said. "If I can manage to put all 78 towns into a lyric for this song and then use the song for fundraising relief, that's something we can all get behind." 

Miranda also said he has no regrets criticizing President Trump on social media following the disaster in Puerto Rico.

"I wish I could tell you that was an impulsive tweet," Miranda said of his Twitter post slamming President Trump. 

"You're going straight to hell, @realDonaldTrump. No long lines for you. Someone will say, "Right this way, sir." They'll clear a path," he wrote. 

"I've never seen the president of the United States attack the victims of a natural disaster," he said. "That has no precedent for me and so those words coming out of me also has no precedent." 

"Almost Like Praying" is available on all digital music retailers and streaming services.