Britney Spears, Jennifer Lopez and Selena Gomez are among the stars who have joined forces for a new charity single.
A total of 24 artists feature on the track entitled Hands, which is being released by Interscope Records following the mass shooting in Orlando, Florida, last month (Jun16). Proceeds from the single will be donated to families of the victims of the attack, to help with medical care, counselling and also to educate others on gun control.
Shooter Omar Mateen claimed the lives of 49 people and injured 53 more when he opened fire at gay nightclub Pulse in the city on 12 June.
Hands was written by Justin Tranter, who has co-written hits for Justin Bieber including Sorry, as well as tracks for Gomez, Gwen Stefani and Fall Out Boy. It includes heart-wrenching lyrics such as: "Can hold a gun, And hold your heart, Can put out fires, And make 'em start."
Speaking to Billboard about the single, Tranter, 36, explained: "Like the rest of the world I woke up to the news that morning and was horrified and sad and scared."
At that point, Tranter decided to sign up as a volunteer at The Center Orlando, the region's foremost LGBT community center. A day later he met GLAAD CEO Sarah Kate Ellis, and the idea of the charity song emerged.
Other famous faces to appear on Hands include Stefani, Mary J. Blige, Jason Derulo, Meghan Trainor, Juanes, Adam Lambert, Jussie Smollett, Nate Ruess, British singer MNEK, and RuPaul.
Getting all the artists to record their parts was anything but easy, but Tranter insists every singer was determined to get it done.
"We assigned everybody what we thought would be the best part for their voice," he said. "And we asked them all to sing an additional part, just in case. But everybody got it done in time so we ended up with extra vocals.
"Mary J. Blige recorded in New Orleans. Britney Spears in Thousand Oaks, I think. Pink in Santa Barbara. MNEK recorded at home in London. Selena recorded in her studio bus. Dan Reynolds recorded in his home. Adam Lambert was in Luxembourg. Ty Herndon the country star was in Spain. Kacey Musgraves, Nashville. Everyone just got it done."
Mark Ronson lent his talent to co-produce the single, which is being distributed on iTunes, while vocal engineer Benjamin Rice perfected the finished track.
Proceeds from Hands will benefit the Equality Florida Pulse Victims Fund, the GLBT Community Center of Central Florida and GLAAD.