Plácido Domingo and Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villarraigosa were among the VIPs who attended the official launch of "La Gota de la Vida" (The Drop of Life), the song and video recorded by 46 Latin stars -- including Enrique Iglesias, Gloria Estefan, Luis Fonsi and Domingo -- to benefit the City of Hope and its outreach programs to the Latin community.
The song, written by pianist/composer and Universal Music Latino recording artist Arthur Hanlon, officially premiered Sept. 7 at Club Nokia in Los Angeles, with a live performance and a first-time screening of the video.
Directed by Grammy-winning music video director and film director Simon Brand, the four-minute-plus video is dramatically sparse, showing the succession of artists -- who also include Jenni Rivera, David Bisbal, Espinoza Paz, Marco Antonio Solis, Luis Enrique, Gilberto Santa Rosa, Marcos Witt, Diego Verdaguer, Ana Isabelle and Tito El Bambino -- singing against a grey background that accentuates the song's melody and lyrics, which are a call to action.
In attendance were officials from City of Hope, the cancer research and treatment facility as well as representatives form the city of Los Angeles, the music industry and patients who have benefited from City of Hope's research and treatment.
The premiere of "La Gota," which will be distributed by Universal, culminates various stages of filming and recording that began last November -- when many of the artists on the video converged in Las Vegas for the Latin Grammys -- and included recording sessions in Los Angeles and Miami.
The project was initiated when City of Hope approached Delia Orjuela, BMI VP of writer/publisher relations for Latin music, in search of artists to tape public service announcements (PSA) for its bone marrow campaign. Orjuela suggested creating a benefit theme song and brought in Hanlon to compose it.
Inspired by a video of the hospital's patients, Hanlon composed the song in two weeks, thinking only a handful of artists would record it. But outreach efforts snowballed, Producers donating their services included Sebastian Krys, Milton Salcedo, Emilio Estefan Jr., Pepe Quintana and Humberto Gatica.
The executive producers of "La Gota de la Vida" are veteran Latin music executive Luis Medina and Salvador Treviño, a businessman who co-founded the "Unete con la Gota de la Vida" campaign targeted at Hispanics ten years ago and who has spearheaded efforts to raise awareness on the importance of registering Hispanic bone marrow donors; it is far easier to find compatible donors among people of the same ethnic background.
More than two decades ago, Medina also produced "Cantaré Cantarás," a UNICEF anthem that was also recorded by a plethora of Latin stars. That song, as well as the original "We Are the World," were also highlighted during the evening as examples of music servicing philanthropic efforts.