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Top 10 Things You Didn't Know About Lin-Manuel Miranda

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Top 10 Things You DIDN’T Know About Lin-Manuel Miranda

Playwright, composer, singer, actor…is there anything this guy can’t do? Welcome to MsMojo, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Things You DIDN’T Know About Lin-Manuel Miranda.

For this list, we’ll be looking at some fun facts related to the creator and star of the hit Broadway musical “Hamilton”.

#10: He Married His High School Sweetheart (Kinda)

Few people are lucky enough to marry their high school sweethearts…and Lin-Manuel Miranda isn’t one of them. While he may have met his future wife Vanessa Nadal while attending Hunter College High School that was not where they fell in love. In fact, Miranda has stated on several occasions that in high school he felt Nadal was out of his league! It wasn’t until years later that he summoned the courage to invite her to a show he was putting on. Less than a month later the two were dating and in 2010 they made it official. They welcomed a child to the family in 2014.

#9: He Wrote Music For “Star Wars”

By now it should be wholly apparent that Lin-Manuel Miranda is a man of many talents, but did you know his skills extend to the silver screen? The “Hamilton” creator provided music and vocals for the 2015 film “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”. To be more specific, Miranda performed the voice over work for the band Shag Kava and composed the song “Jabba Flow”, which played during the Cantina scene. The groovy song was actually released as a single the following year. Clearly, there’s no limit as to where Lin-Manuel Miranda’s talents can take him - even a galaxy far, far away.

#8: He Was a Co-Composer & Lyricist for “Bring It On: The Musical”

Based on the popular film series of the same name, “Bring It On: The Musical” opened to rave reviews in 2011. The show took heavy inspiration from the first film in the “Bring It On” franchise, focusing on the cutthroat world of competitive cheerleading and the outlandish personalities that exist within it. A big reason for the shows success was the music and lyrics provided by Lin-Manuel Miranda. Working alongside veteran songwriters Tom Kitt and Amanda Green, Miranda helped craft one of the most exciting musicals of the year. It’s a fact that didn’t go unnoticed in the theater world, as proven by the Best Musical nomination it received at the 2013 TONY Awards.

#7: Alan Menken Was Mean to Him When He Was a Kid

Having composed the scores for such classic films as “The Little Mermaid”, “Beauty and the Beast” and “Aladdin”, Oscar-winner Alan Menken is what you would call “a legend”. When Miranda was in the fourth grade he was apparently obsessed with “The Little Mermaid”, and he just so happened to be in the same class as Menken’s niece Jenny. As the story goes, he would constantly bug her for her Uncle Alan’s autograph. One day Miranda’s wish came true, however Menken decided to have some fun with the kid and wrote “'To Lin, From Alan. Stop kissing Jenny's feet.” It looks like it’s all water under the bridge now though (Digital #Ham4Ham).

#6: He Voiced a Famous Polar Bear

Ever since its first appearance in a Coca-Cola ad back in 1922, the iconic polar bear has appeared periodically in the company’s advertising campaigns. The animal has become such an enduring part of their legacy that in 2012 director Ridley Scott was tasked with producing a short animated film about them. So where does Miranda fit in all of this? He provided the voice of Jak, a rambunctious young polar bear who is always getting into trouble. The 7-minute short helped turn Coke’s iconic polar bears into more developed characters, and added yet another feather to Lin-Manuel’s cap.

#5: He Founded a Hip-Hop Comedy Troupe

In addition to being a composer, playwright, singer and actor, Lin-Manuel Miranda is also a talented rapper. Growing up in New York City, he used to carry a boombox with him at all times and cites Nas, Biggie Smalls and Eminem as some of the artists that provided inspiration for his smash hit “Hamilton”. During his time at Wesleyan University he co-founded “Freestyle Love Supreme” - a troupe comprised of five members who perform an improv rap show based on suggestions from the audience. They were once called “Masters in the art of the Freestyle rhyme” by the New York Times.Talk about high praise!

#4: He Wrote the Opening for the 2013 Tony Awards

Awards shows typically start off with something grand and the 2013 Tony Awards were no exception. The show began with a 7-minute performance by Neil Patrick Harris that was in a word, breathtaking. The wickedly talented performer sang and danced his way all over the stage, taking the audience on a journey that was not only entertaining but informative as well - slyly introducing some of the year’s biggest plays in dramatic fashion. But who was responsible for composing the music and lyrics for this spectacle? Why Lin-Manuel Miranda of course! He even won an Emmy for it! Seriously, this guy has too much talent. Didn’t his parents ever teach him about sharing?

#3: He's a Huge Fan of “The West Wing”

Lin-Manuel Miranda’s defining work is all about politics. “Hamilton” is a hip-hop infused musical about Alexander Hamilton, one of America’s Founding Fathers and an important historical figure. You don’t create that sort of stage production unless you’re big into politics and entertainment. So perhaps it’s not surprising to hear that he’s massive fan of the NBC political drama “The West Wing”. To say Miranda likes the show would be an understatement… he LOVES it! In fact, he even wrote a “West Wing” inspired rap called “What’s Next” for the podcast “West Wing Weekly”. The show’s theme song even turned up during a “Hamilton” performance! The guy’s a super fan, no doubt about it.

#2: He's a Huge Fan of the Podcast “My Brother, My Brother and Me”

If you’ve noticed Lin give a honking motion with his hand every time he’s in public, well… It’s a MBMBaM thing. “My Brother, My Brother and Me” is a comedic podcast hosted by the McElroy brothers Justin, Travis and Griffin. The show’s concept is simple yet effective: the brothers answer questions found on “Yahoo! Answers” as well as ones from their listeners, in hilarious and unique ways. Lin-Manuel Miranda has long been a fan of the show and even made an appearance on the brothers’ TV series of the same name in 2017. In fact, Miranda is such a staunch supporter of “My Brother, My Brother and Me” that he is referred to as the “Fourth McElroy” on the podcast’s wiki page.

#1: He Got the Gig to Write Music for “Moana” Before “Hamilton” Became Popular

Let’s take a trip down memory lane shall we? While on vacation in 2008 Miranda read a biography about Alexander Hamilton and wrote a rap about him. By 2012 he had started writing songs for what was to become a full-fledged play, though they were still incomplete. In 2014 Disney hired him to write songs for their upcoming film “Moana”. In 2015 “Hamilton” premiered off-Broadway to rave reviews and later that year made its Broadway debut. So as you can clearly see, Disney hired Miranda before he became a household name. Clearly, industry insiders recognised his talent long before the rest of the world.


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