Hollywood's brightest musical stars are lending their voices – literally – to one of the White House's most prominent female initiatives.
First lady Michelle Obama has recruited Grammy winner Kelly Clarkson, former Disney star Zendaya, "Glee" alumna Lea Michele, Missy Elliott and a handful of other chart-topping singers to record a melody in honor of her Let Girls Learn initiative, which champions for girls worldwide to have access to adequate education.
In partnership with the #62milliongirls social media campaign, the singers hit the studio to produce "This Is For My Girls," written by eight-time Oscar nominee Diane Warren. The track launched on iHeartRadio Tuesday, debuted on iTunes Wednesday and is also scheduled to be performed live for the first time at South by Southwest, an annual music, film and interactive media festival. The proceeds from the song will go on to benefit the Let Girls Learn initiative.
"Think about who – and what – you would be today if your formal education had ended after middle school and you knew only what you'd learned through eighth grade," Obama wrote in Wednesday's issue of Lena Dunham's newsletter, Lenny Letter. "It's inconceivable, right? We wouldn't dream of accepting this fate for ourselves – or for our friends, sisters, or daughters. So why would we accept it for any girl on this planet – especially when we've got piles of research telling us that girls who go to school marry later, have healthier families, and earn higher salaries?"
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Clarkson, who is a mother to her own 1-year-old daughter River Rose Blackstock, rallied her fans in support against the growing social epidemic.
"Education is key to opening minds and doors to opportunities that are absolutely possible!" she tweeted.
"It’s kind of like 'We Are the World' meets 'Lady Marmalade' with these strong voices and strong women," Warren told Billboard. "When was the last time you heard a song like this or a record that had this many amazing divas on it? I’m really proud."
Featured singer Janelle Monae praised FLOTUS for her commitment to this particular cause. "LOVE my first lady @FLOTUS so much AND all that she is doing to #LetGirlsLearn. We need her," she wrote on Twitter.
"Against the most heartbreaking odds, these girls never lose hope in themselves," Obama wrote. "The least we can do is give them a chance to go to school, fulfill that hope, and become who and what they are meant to be."