Biography of Lin-Manuel Miranda

Lin-Manuel Miranda is a multi-talented composer, lyricist, writer, playwright, rapper, and performer known for creating the hit musical Hamilton, in which he also starred.

Born and raised in upper Manhattan, New York, in a Puerto Rican family, Miranda showed an early interest in musical theater and music, writing jingles and songs for school and various political campaigns. He attended Hunter College High School in Manhattan, before studying at Wesleyan University in Connecticut. While at Wesleyan, he wrote the first draft of what would become his first Broadway musical, In the Heights. After graduating from Wesleyan in 2002, Miranda began work spearheading a production for New York.

After finding success Off Broadway, In the Heights premiered on Broadway in 2008. The musical follows the story of a bodega owner in Washington Heights and the community in that neighborhood. It was notable for its integration of rap and other vernacular music styles into the musical theater tradition. It won 4 Tony Awards for Best Musical, Best Original Score, and Best Choreography. Miranda played the main character and earned a Tony nomination for his performance. There is a film version in the works.

Hamilton: An American Musical was Miranda's next smash hit. After getting workshopped at the Public Theater in an off-Broadway run, it transferred to Broadway to overwhelming acclaim. It has won countless awards and been credited with reviving the American musical. Among its accolades are the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, a 2016 Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album, and 11 Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Best Book, and Best Original Score. The cast album was at the top of the rap charts for weeks, and it continues to be one of the hottest Broadway tickets.

Miranda's other writing credits include the music and lyrics for Bring it On: The Musical, and the soundtrack for the hit Disney movie Moana. His next projects include writing songs for a live-action Disney update of The Little Mermaid, as well as costarring in the remake of Mary Poppins opposite Emily Blunt.

Study Guides on Works by Lin-Manuel Miranda

Hamilton is an acclaimed musical that follows the life and exploits of an oft-overlooked Founding Father, Alexander Hamilton. Using innovative musical and theatrical methods, the musical takes the audience through the biography of the impassioned...