After nearly two years of playing to packed Broadway audiences, the Broadway hit Dear Evan Hansen is about to release new music. Tomorrow (Sept. 25), “Part of Me” will finally be released and available for purchase, but Billboard has an exclusive first listen of the track one day early.
In the show’s current incarnation, Act I ends with the anthemic “You Will Be Found,” but that number wasn’t always intended as the mid-show climax. Composers Benj Pasek and Justin Paul originally wrote the song “Part of Me” to close the act, which it did in the show’s original off-Broadway production at Arena Stage in Washington, D.C. Eventually, as so often happens in Broadway musicals’ long gestation periods, the song was cut.
Listen closely to the current Broadway cast’s performance of the song, and you’ll hear some distinct similarities to “You Will Be Found” — if in a darker, more cynical number, inspired by a stage direction in Steven Levenson’s book to imagine what would happen in Evan and his romantic interest, Zoe, literally fell into the internet.
Dear Evan Hansen began performances on Broadway in November of 2016 and won six 2017 Tony awards, including best musical. The show’s original Broadway cast recording was released in February of that year, debuting on the Billboard 200 at No. 8 — the highest-charting debut for an original cast album since 1961 — and later winning the 2018 Grammy award for best musical theater album.
The Dear Evan Hansen North American tour begins Sept. 25 in Denver, Col. “Part of Me” will be included on the Dear Evan Hansen deluxe album, featuring other songs cut from the show, new recordings of existing songs by the show’s current and touring cast members, cover versions and original demos, out digitally Oct. 19.
Listen to “Part of Me” below.