Broadway for Orlando: More than 60 top Broadway stars have recorded a special version of “What the World Needs Now Is Love” to benefit victims of the Orlando shooting massacre at Pulse nightclub. Broadway for Orlando is available starting Monday, June 20 as a digital download from Broadway Records, with all proceeds going to the LGBT Center of Central Florida.
It could be the best $1.99 you ever spent. Broadway for Orlando participating artists include Tony winners Lin-Manuel Miranda, creator and star of the blockbuster hit Hamilton, multi-winner Audra McDonald, currently appearing in Shuffle Along, songwriter Carole King, and the legendary Chita Rivera.
“What the World Needs Now Is Love” was written by Burt Bacharach (music) and lyrics by Hal David (lyrics). This special charity version was recorded by artists in New York, Los Angeles and Miami, performing to a 25-piece orchestra.
It is the latest example of top tier performers coming to the aid of people in need.
Farm Aid started in 1985 as a concert to help small family-owned farms, and has held concerts nearly every year since. Each year, Farm Aid board members Willie Nelson, Neil Young, John Mellencamp and Dave Matthews host a Farm Aid concert to bring together artists, farmers and fans for the mission of keeping family farmers on the land. Farm Aid is the longest running concert for a cause in America. It has raised more than $50 million since 1985 to help American family farmers, while inspiring millions of people to take part in the Good Food Movement.
We are the World also launched in 1985, in response to a devastating famine in Africa. The song was written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Ritchie, and recorded by an all-star cast that included Bruce Springstein, Barbra Streisand and Billy Joel and Harry Belafonte. In 30 years, it has helped has raise more than $100,000,000 to fight poverty in Africa and the United States, through the group USA for Africa, which also is working to fight climate change.
Live Aid was another worldwide phenomenon, also in 1985, also in to raise money for the relief of famine-stricken Africans. It was a 16-hour ‘superconcert” in multiple cities, linked globally by satellite to more than one billion viewers in more than 100 nations. Prince Charles and Princess Diana officially opened Live Aid in London, and the music continued in New York City, Philadelphia and other cities. Performers included Culture Club, Queen, Duran Duran, Phil Collins, U2, Wham!. The event raised more than $125 million in famine relief, and the song created for the concert, “Do They Know It’s Christmas?”, became one of the best-selling singles of its time.
Back to Broadway for Orlando – Performers are in alphabetical order, because that’s the only fair way to list this incredible collection of Broadway stars-
Sara Bareilles, Roger Bart, Kristen Bell, Wayne Brady, Matthew Broderick, Andréa Burns, Ann Hampton Callaway, Liz Callaway, Len Cariou, Paul Castree, Michael Cerveris, Joshua Colley, Lilla Crawford, Carmen Cusack, Darius de Haas, Fran Drescher, Gloria Estefan, Christopher Fitzgerald, Sutton Foster, Kimiko Glenn, Whoopi Goldberg, Renée Elise Goldsberry, Joel Grey, Sean Hayes, Heather Headley, Nina Hennessy, Megan Hilty, James Monroe Iglehart, Bill Irwin, Carole King, Jane Krakowski, Judy Kuhn, Nathan Lane, Anika Larsen, Jennifer Lewis, Zachary Levi, Jose Llana, Rebecca Luker, Andrea Martin, Audra McDonald, Idina Menzel, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Jessie Mueller, Donna Murphy, Rosie O’Donnell, Kelli O’Hara, Rory O’Malley, Orfeh, Sarah Jessica Parker, Rosie Perez, Bernadette Peters, Billy Porter, Alice Ripley, Chita Rivera, Keala Settle, Kate Shindle, Christopher Sieber, Jennifer Simard, Will Swenson, Rachel Tucker, Tommy Tune, Jonah Verdon, Lillias White, Marissa Jaret Winokur, B.D. Wong, and Tony Yazbeck.
One hundred percent of the proceeds from Broadway for Orlando will go to the LGBT Center of Central Florida.
photo of Willie Nelson at Farm Aid courtesy FarmAid.org
photo of Live Aid poster courtesy Bob Geldof