Jennifer Nettles is looking to an eternal optimist ― Little Orphan Annie ― to deliver a “hopeful message” during the coronavirus pandemic.
The country artist, who is one-half of the Grammy-winning duo Sugarland, unveiled her emotional version of “Tomorrow” from the musical “Annie” on social media last week. Produced by “Hamilton” orchestrator Alex Lacamoire, the song’s never-give-up message “feels so true” during a time of social and political upheaval, she told HuffPost.
Directed by Jason Patrick Sands, the song’s music video intercuts shots of a desolate-looking New York with archival footage, reminding viewers who may be struggling to come to terms with a new, isolated normal that all hope isn’t lost.
“We are worried for our health, for our loved ones, for our finances and for our futures, all the while practicing social distancing, which can be hard on the human psyche and soul,” Nettles said. “But ... we have been through challenging times together as a country before. We have found ourselves forged by those fires within our communities and families. I hope this song lets you feel all that you need to feel.”
In the 43 years since the song debuted in Broadway’s “Annie,” “Tomorrow” has appeared in three movie adaptations of the musical and recorded by Grace Jones and Barbra Streisand, among others. More recently, it was featured in 2018’s “Deadpool 2” and a 2016 ad campaign for the heart failure prevention medicine Entresto.
In spite of its ubiquity in pop culture, Nettles would like her version to remind listeners to “be gentle with ourselves, and with each other, within the uncertainty and fear.”
As half of Sugarland, she is slated to resume performances June 4 in Toronto on the 2020 There Goes the Neighborhood Tour. The duo’s 2018 album featured “Babe,” written by Taylor Swift, who also sang on the track.
Watch Jennifer Nettles’ “Tomorrow” below.
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