When thinking about US Founding Father Alexander Hamilton, the first thing that pops into mind usually isn’t “hip-hop musical.” But for actor/composer Lin-Manuel Miranda, that’s exactly what happened. As one of the most creative actors of our time, it’s no wonder he’s so popular lately. He can sing, he can act, and boy can he freestyle rap!
Miranda was born January 16, 1980. He grew up by Inwood Hill Park in New York, but would visit his grandparents and his Puerto Rican roots frequently in Vega Alta, Puerto Rico. Miranda began getting involved with music as a kid, and started his theater work in high school.Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images
Latin music and hip-hop music remained influential throughout his career, leading to one of the most successful Broadway shows in history. But exactly how much is success worth in Miranda’s case?
Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Net Worth as of 2016: $10 million
Here’s how he made all those Hamiltons with Hamilton:
In 2002, after graduating from Wesleyan University, Miranda worked on his first successful musical, In the Heights, with co-writer John Buffalo Mailer and director Thomas Kail. He wrote five drafts before it hit the stage off-Broadway in 2007.
In the Heights went to Broadway in 2008 where it ran very successfully until February 2009. It grossed about $34 million in 2008.
Miranda won Tony Awards for Best Musical, Best Original Score, and Best Actor in a Musical. In the Heights also won a Grammy for Best Musical Show Album.
Miranda read and was inspired by Alexander Hamilton’s biography in 2007. He wrote a rap about Hamilton and performed it at the White House Evening for Poetry, Music, and Spoken Word in 2009.
Miranda also did other stage work during this time, like translating original lyrics into Spanish for the 2009 Broadway revival of West Side Story. He also guest-starred in TV shows such as The Sopranos and House.
2010-2015Theo Wargo/Getty Images
Miranda guest-starred on more TV shows, including Modern Family and How I Met Your Mother. But his focus was the stage, acting and writing for many productions. He co-composed music and lyrics for Bring It On: The Musical, which grossed $11 million during its six-month run.
He continued to perform extended pieces about Hamilton’s life in the 2010s, receiving praise from major newspapers and theater critics. This eventually led to the history meets hip-hop musical we all know and love, Hamilton.
Hamilton premiered Off-Broadway in January 2015, starring Miranda himself as Alexander Hamilton. It received highly positive reviews, and began to sell out every show.
The musical opened on Broadway in August 2015, earning $30 million in advance ticket sales before the opening night. It received rave reviews and praise from many critics, quickly rising in popularity. Hamilton was the second highest grossing Broadway show during Labor Day weekend, with $1.7 million earned, only behind The Lion King.
The musical was so popular that it even influenced the US Department of Treasury not to replace Alexander Hamilton on the $10 dollar bill. They decided to redesign the $20 dollar bill with Harriet Tubman instead.
2016Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images for Nordstrom
Hamilton was nominated for 16 Tony Awards and won 11 of those nominations. It has grossed about $79.8 million since its opening night on Broadway.
Miranda has won the Distinguished Performance Award from the Drama League for Hamilton, a prestigious honor that an actor can receive only once in their career. He also won a Pulitzer Prize for Drama, among many other awards.
Miranda has been confirmed to co-star with Emily Blunt in the film, Mary Poppins Returns. He also is writing music for the newest upcoming Disney film, Moana.