Ashley Massaro was 39 when she passed away by a reported suicide by hanging, although, the Suffolk County medical examiner's office never released an official cause of death because of New York law concerning privacy issues. The song and music video are now being released with the approval of Massaro's family.
"When the Massaro family gave us their blessing, it was time," Brian Orlando told The New York Post. "But it's still bittersweet." Orlando is the host of a morning show at Long Island radio station 94.3 the Shark, where Massaro also hosted a weekly show, and he's also the person that asked Ashley to be in the music video.
"The idea of the song is that with music, you are never alone," said Brian. "A few weeks before we were set to launch the entire thing, Ashley fell victim to her battle with depression. I was crushed that I lost my friend, and the entire project just felt gross at that point. From time to time I would think about it, but it just didn't seem right."
The video was filmed between December 2018 and January 2019 and features the "Choose Song", which was written by Orlando after "Soundgarden" frontman Chris Cornell hung himself in 2017. The artists performing the song include Vinnie Dombroski from "Sponge", "Wheatus" lead singer Brendon B. Brown, and Kevin Martin from "Candlebox".
Orlando had originally shelved the project but says that increased mental health issues due to the Coronavirus pandemic inspired him to reach out to Massaro's family about releasing the video.
"We watched the video together. It was nothing but hugs. Lex, her daughter, got a little emotional, but there were smiles because they got to see their daughter doing something different from what she was known, which was being in a wrestling ring. Ashley's mom told me that this was obviously something that Ashley felt very strongly about and wanted her wish seen through. The Massaro family is amazing," said Orlando.
He revealed that Massaro actually saw a nearly finished version of the music video prior to her passing and "loved it".
"I know she loved it," says Orlando, adding, "I wish she could have seen the finished product, and to be corny about it, I think she can."