It’s been a little under a month since the world was shaken by the tragedy of Pulse, a gay club, in Orlando, Florida. The deadliest mass shooting in American history left 49 people dead and 53 injured.
Today, a multitude of stars come together on “Hands,” a charity single written by Justin Tranter and Julia Michaels, one of current pop’s most in-demand songwriters responsible for some of the biggest hits today having worked with Selena Gomez, Justin Bieber, Gwen Stefani, and more. The song is produced by BloodPop, who also had a hand in crafting a large portion of Bieber’s critically acclaimed Purpose.
— Britney Spears (@britneyspears) June 20, 2016
The song also features a multitude of major pop stars ranging from iconic and veteran to new, talented faces in the industry. Britney Spears, who has been incredibly outspoken about Pulse and gun laws in the past month, opens the song, followed by Gwen. Selena, Troye Sivan, Kacey Musgraves, Meghan Trainor, and icon Mary J. Blige all give prominent solos in the song. Amongst the crowd, a notable amount of LGBTQ identifying artists feature on the track: Troye, Adam Lambert, Tyler Glenn, Alex Newell, Jussie Smollett, Mary Lambert, MNEK, as well as the Trans Chorus of Los Angeles. RuPaul also has a touching spoken word part towards the end.
Other names include Jennifer Lopez, P!nk, Jason Derulo, Halsey, Ty Herndon, Dan Reynolds of Imagine Dragons, Juanes, and Prince Royce.
Proceeds of “Hands” will be distributed by Equality Florida Pulse Victims Fund, the GLBT Community Center of Central Florida and GLAAD and will benefit families of victims of the Pulse shooting with medical care, counseling, as well as education.
“I’m not educated enough to speak on the political details,” said Justin Tranter to Billboard, also LGBTQ-identifying. “I’m a songwriter, not a politician. It could have been a million things but clearly, 100 percent, this was an attack on the LGBT community and people of color.”
“We didn’t want to have any trendy electronic elements, we wanted it to sound classic, timeless and human. We want this anthem of positivity to be played for years to come,” he states of the song. The job was done, the song is led with a piano, acoustic guitar, and features claps and minor electronically filtered background vocals. Everyone’s lead vocals remain clean, unedited, and tasteful for the moving track.
A touching tribute to victims of the shooting and a noble cause.
“Hands” is available now on iTunes