Just over a week after 49 people were killed in the Orlando, Florida, shooting massacre at Pulse nightclub, Broadway’s biggest stars released a cover of Burt Bacharach’s “What the World Needs Now Is Love” to honor the victims of the hateful act.
Produced by Broadway Records President Van Dean, James Wesley, and longtime star and radio host Seth Rudetsky, the recording features vocalists from all stages of Broadway, including Sara Bareilles, Kristen Bell, Wayne Brady, Matthew Broderick, Fran Drescher, Gloria Estefan, Whoopi Goldberg, Hamilton’s Renée Elise Goldsberry, Sean Hayes, Carole King, Nathan Lane, Zachary Levi, Andrea Martin, Audra McDonald, Idina Menzel, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Jessie Mueller, Rosie O’Donnell, Kelli O’Hara, Sarah Jessica Parker, Rosie Perez, Bernadette Peters, Billy Porter, Chita Rivera, BD Wong and LGBT activist Edith Windsor.
The accompanying music video shows them in the recording studio sharing a message of hope and strength in support of the LGBT community.
ET was inside the studio when the stars came together for an emotional day of recording, most of which took place between matinees and evening performances. “If you had been in that room to hear those great, great voices singing at the top of their lungs,” Rivera said of the impact of being in the same room with what she calls a “wonderful family.”
“The Broadway community is a very close knit family and we band together when things happen. It gives us strength and uplifts the situation,” Bernadette Peters said, adding that despite the weight of what happened a week prior, there was still a joyful presence in the room. “We were just singing about love.”
On June 12, a gunman killed 49 people and injured another 53 before dying in a standoff with a police at Pulse, a gay nightclub. It’s the deadliest shooting in the U.S. and the deadliest act of violence against the LGBT community.
Many of the vocalists will be reunite to perform the song live for the first time on Tuesday on NBC's Maya & Marty, which airs at 10 p.m. ET.
All of the proceeds from sales of the benefit single, which was officially released on Monday, will go to the GLBT Community Center of Central Florida. The single was released in coordination with the Broadway in Orlando initiative.
The benefit single comes after a number of stars have offered their support to victims and their families.