The Back Story of a Great Star

Matilde Canamaque

Lin-Manuel Miranda is an award-winning actor, performer and writer known for his groundbreaking Broadway musicals ‘In the Heights’ and ‘Hamilton. He also participated in the movie ” Mary Poppins Returns ” as Jack. He wrote the song We Know the Way from Moana.

Childhood

Lin-Manuel Miranda was born on January 16, 1980, in New York, U.S. Miranda was born to parents of Puerto Rican origin and grew up in a Hispanic neighborhood in northern Manhattan.  Miranda and his sister grew up in a music-oriented family so they both played piano. He saw his first musical at age 7 and loved it. After that Miranda’s parents were not able to take him and his sister to more musicals due to money. As Lin-Manuel Miranda grew older, he started developing many interests for hip hop music. During his pre-teen and teenage years, Miranda started to perform in student stage productions while he attended Hunter College’s elementary and high schools. He went on to major in theater studies at Wesleyan University. After graduation, he worked as a high school English teacher for a time. While at Wesleyan, Miranda started developing the musical that would become In the Heights. With Miranda starring in the production and writing the show’s music and lyrics, In the Heights was set in Washington Heights, featuring Latin sounds interwoven with more standard show tune fare. The musical debuted in 2008 and was a hit, running for almost two years and winning four Tony Awards, including the prize for best musical.

The Hamilton Success 

When Lin-Manuel Miranda was on a trip in 2008, he picked up the 2004 Ron Chernow biography of Alexander Hamilton. After reading the book, Miranda was inspired to create a full-length work chronicling Hamilton’s life. The first song he wrote was presented in 2009 in the White House. Hamilton eventually debuted at the Public Theater in early 2015, and just months later, it hit Broadway. That same year, Miranda was honored with the MacArthur Foundation Awards. With Miranda in the titular role, Hamilton documents some of the prominent historical events associated with Hamilton,  from his childhood to his life-ending duel with Aaron Burr. The Broadway musical has become a must-see event, not only for theater fans but also for scores of famous figures, including President Barack Obama and musical icon Stephen Sondheim. In April 2016, Hamilton won the Pulitzer Prize for drama, and in May, the musical set a new record when it was nominated for 16 Tony Awards, the most in Broadway history. The production ultimately received 11 Tonys, just one short of the record-setting 12 wins had by The Producers. Hamilton counted among its wins the prizes for best musical and best direction, with Miranda himself receiving two Tonys in the categories of original score and dialogue. 

Life Now

Miranda married scientist and lawyer Vanessa Nadal in 2010. The couple have two sons, Sebastian and Francisco.  And, of course, Miranda is hard at work on his next big hit!