Lin-Manuel Miranda is on a career high at the moment. He’s got a major hit on Broadway, a record number of Tony nominations, and three more Tonys to add to his collection of awards after the 70th Annual Tony Awards.
His acceptance speech, in which he said, “love is love is love is love is love,” moved millions and has gone viral, like most of his work. The mastermind can sing, act, rap, write, dance, and do probably anything you challenge him to do.
The 36-year-old New York City native is the son of Puerto Rican parents and is married to scientist and lawyer Vanessa Nadal, a graduate of MIT. The couple have a son, Sebastian, according to Biography.com. Read on for more about the musical genius.
1. He’s Written Three Broadway Shows
A lot of people just jumping on the bandwagon don’t realize that Miranda has been around for a bit. His first Broadway show was In the Heights, which premiered on Broadway in 2008. It closed in 2011. He originated the role of Usnavi.
Then, his website says he worked as the co-composer (with Tom Kitt), and co-lyricist (with Amanda Green) on Broadway’s Bring it On: The Musical.
Hamilton is his third hit and premiered on Broadway is 2015. He also originated the lead role, Alexander Hamilton.
It is impossible to get tickets to Hamilton, unless you’re willing to spend thousands of dollars.
He’s also written songs for shows like Working and the West Side Story revival.
2. Miranda’s an Award-Winning Actor, Composer, & Lyricist
At the 70th Annual Tony Awards, Miranda added three more Tonys to his mantle: Best Book of a Musical, Best Musical, and Best Original Score.
He also won a Pulitzer Prize and a Drama League Award for Outstanding Performance this year.
In 2008 he won a Tony for Best Original Score and one for Best Musical, for In the Heights. In 2009, he won a Grammy for Best Musical Album for In the Heights. He’s also won Emmys, Lucille Lortel awards, Drama Desk awards, and others.
If you aren’t convinced he’s a genius yet, you might be after you hear this:
He won the 2015 MacArthur Foundation “Genius” Award for his work on his Broadway musical Hamilton.
The 16 Tonys Hamilton was nominated for in 2016 broke records.
3. He Worked as a High School English Teacher
Like most Broadway successes, it wasn’t always rainbows and Tony awards for Miranda. There was a lot of hard work and hustle that got Miranda to where he is today. Before Broadway, he was an English teacher at his former high school. He also wrote for the Manhattan Times, according to Latina.com.
He also composed music for commercials during this time.
4. He’s Really into Politics & His Father Was a Political Adviser
If you’ve seen Hamilton, you know that Miranda has a thing for politics, and it’s no surprise since his father is a former political adviser who worked with former NYC Mayor Ed Koch, says LatinPost.com. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, because Miranda went on to write former New York governor Eliot Spitzer’s campaign jingle in 2004. It might not be political advising, per se, but close enough.
Spitzer isn’t the only politician Miranda knows. He and president Obama basically have a bromance. The first time any portion of Hamilton was performed was in 2009 at the White House Evening of Poetry, Music, and the Spoken Word, according to The Washington Post. Miranda performed a piece about Alexander Hamilton. And the rest is history. Miranda returned to the White House recently for a freestyling battle with the president.
5. He’s Not an Overnight Success
While it seems like he kind of came out of nowhere by when In the Heights first hit the stage, that’s not the case.
Latina.com claims that Miranda wrote the first draft of In the Heights during his sophomore year at Wesleyan University in Connecticut.
According to Latina.com, it took Miranda six years to write Hamilton. He enlisted the help of Ron Chernow, the author of the biography Alexander Hamilton. Chernow fact-checked his songs for accuracy. Plus, both shows were produced off-Broadway first.