Juanes Lends Grammy-Winning Voice to New 'McFarland USA' Music Video for 'Juntos' (Together) (WATCH VIDEO)
Colombian rock star Juanes is once again celebrating the unity and "togetherness" of people, but this time it's not for his fellow Colombians, but for his fellow Latinos in McFarland, California.
The Grammy Award-winning singer has penned an original song titled "Juntos (Together)" specifically for Disney's "McFarland, USA," which he recorded for the end title track of the movie.
The Walt Disney Pictures-produced heroic sports film stars Kevin Costner and Carlos Pratts ("The Bridge"), as well as many up-and-coming Latino actors.
"I was thrilled when Disney invited me to be part of this very special project," Juanes told Billboard. "Watching the film left me inspired about the power of teamwork, tenacity and faith, and I'm honored to now be part of the 'McFarland, USA' team."
Juanes traveled to McFarland, California to film the music video for "Juntos (Together)" on location, where he received a huge welcome. His visit drew huge crowds of fans who were ecstatic to get a glimpse of the chart-topping, multi-faceted artist who recently collaborated with Juan Gabriel on his hit single "Querida."
Juanes also gave his fans yet another treat while he was in McFarland -- he joined the McFarland community's festive Holiday Parade and followed up with an impromptu concert for the fans.
Director of "McFarland, USA," Niki Caro, who also returned to McFarland to shoot the music video, was over-the-moon to have Juanes' participation.
"I'm thrilled to have Juanes' collaboration on this movie," Caro said. "His song 'Juntos (Together)' goes to the very soul of 'McFarland, USA.'"
In addition to "The Bridge's" Pratts, "McFarland, USA" also stars other young Latino talent, including Sergio Avelar, Johnny Ortiz, Hector Duran, Ramiro Rodriguez, Jamie Michael Aguero, Rafael Martinez, Ramiro Rodriguez, Danny Mora, Valente Rodriguez, Vanessa Martinez and Diana Maria Riva, among others. American actress Maria Bello, who starred in "Coyote Ugly" and "Thank You for Smoking," also stars in the film.
"I was inspired by these kids' physical, mental and spiritual endurance. Those qualities are perfect for running," Caro told USA Today in an earlier interview. "My mandate is to be culturally specific and authentic. And I backed that vision all the way - not just pay it lip service," she added. "I hope this story breaks new ground in the types of stories Disney tells."
Based on the 1987 true story, "McFarland, USA" follows novice runners from McFarland, an economically challenged town in California's farm-rich Central Valley, as they give their all to build a cross-country team under the direction of Coach Jim White (Kevin Costner), a newcomer to their predominantly Latino high school, according to the film's official website.
Coach White recognizes the McFarland students' "exceptional running ability" as he gets to know them personally. Then it becomes clear that the power goes beyond their physical talent, but it stems from their strong family bonds, their "unwavering commitment" to each other and their amazing work ethic. With hard work and determination, the students overcome the odds and evolve into a championship cross-country team who leave behind an enduring legacy and a new take on the ever-evolving American dream.
"McFarland USA's" screenplay is by Christopher Cleveland & Bettina Gilois and Grant Thompson, and the story is by Cleveland & Gilois. Producers Gordon Gray and Mark Ciardi and Executive Producers Mario Iscovich and Mary Martin also helped spearhead the inspirational film.
Check out Juanes' music video for "Juntos (Together)" in Disney's "McFarland, USA," which hits theaters on Friday, Feb. 20.