People around the world are still trying to come to terms with the horrendous murder on June 12 of 49 innocent people in the gay nightclub, Pulse, in Orlando. Marking what is one of the worst mass shootings in US history, the tragedy has resulted in a number of actions. From filibusters and sit-ins by politicians in the US Senate and House of Representatives to a charity single from Broadway stars and a tribute video produced by Ryan Murphy starring 49 stars from entertainment each honoring one of the lives lost, people are determined that we will not forget and action must be taken to stop the hate. Recently, a number of music stars came together to lend their voices to a single in order to raise money for those left behind. Their powerful tribute, “Hands” was released today (July 6).
Penned by Justin Tranter and Julia Michaels (who have co-wrote Justin Bieber’s recent hit “Sorry” as well as hits for Selena Gomez and Gwen Stefani among others), Adam Lambert, Britney Spears, P!nk, Gomez, Mary J. Blige, Jason Derulo, Stefani and Troye Sivan are just some of the 24 artists appearing on the track. “Like the rest of the world I woke up to the news that morning and was horrified and sad and scared,” Tranter told Billboard.
The weekend of the shooting, Tranter and Michaels were in Miami on the road with Gomez. On hearing the news, he joined The Center Orlando, the region’s chief LGBT community center. He relates to Billboard that on calling the Center to find out that if he came to Orlando, would there be something for him to help out on, they replied, “We need as many hands as we can possibly get”. A concept that sparked his imagination, producing the deeply moving “Hands”; an exploration of all the good and all the evil that can be accomplished just by our hands.
“When you hear the song it talks about hate being the driver here,” said GLAAD CEO Sarah Kate Ellis, “and that’s important because we have to be able to identify what’s driving these cruel acts in order to stop them. Artists using their platforms to accelerate acceptance is very powerful.”
Produced by Bloodpop and Mark Ronson, the song will be released though Interscope Records with support from GLAAD. The single is available now from iTunes, but only currently in the US. Proceeds will be distributed by Equality Florida Pulse Victims Fund, the GLBT Community Center of Central Florida and GLAAD.
The full list of artists who feature on the song are as follows: Mary J Blige, Jason Derulo, Britney Spears, Tyler Glenn, Selena Gomez, Halsey, Ty Herndon, Imagine Dragons, Juanes, Adam Lambert, Mary Lambert, Jennifer Lopez, the Trans Chorus of Los Angeles, Kacey Musgraves, MNEK, Alex Newell, Pink, Prince Royce, Nate Ruess, RuPaul, Troye Sivan, Jussie Smollett, Gwen Stefani, and Meghan Trainor.