The gay star has released Pulse as a download in an effort to raise more funds for the LGBT community in Florida as it mourns the deaths of 49 people shot by a deranged gunman on Sunday morning.

Days after Nick Jonas and Lady GaGa took part in candlelight vigils across the country, Etheridge put pen to paper and wrote a new track, which features the line, "How can I hate them, when everybody's got a pulse?"

"I'm dealing with it the way I deal, which is, I wrote a song," Melissa told Rolling Stone. "I just sat here, and I just started writing a song... That's how I first started to cope because, as a singer-songwriter, I feel very... I've done this before. I feel called to speak; to do what musicians do.

"We've been the town criers for hundreds of years. We're mirrors of society. We want to try to make sense. We want to try to heal. We want to bring some meaning, some purpose. We also want to put it down forever in history. That's how I'm coping."

Etheridge reveals she recorded the song, named after the club where the massacre took place the day before, on Monday (13Jun16), adding, "There's just something very poetic and very meaningful about the name... You just start thinking about your own pulse. It's the way I've always felt about the gay movement, the gay issue. Here we are, people who are loving; we are fighting for who we want to love."

The ballad begins with the lines: "Everybody's got a pain inside/Imaginary wounds they fight to hide/How can I hate them, when everybody's got a pulse?"