By Emmanuel Ureña
Lin-Manuel Miranda otra vez?! We know, we know. He made an appearance on our 2015 Men of the Year roundup. But you see, the thing is that this ‘LLERO just keeps on winning! In 2016 the body of work, accomplishments and accolades continued to grow for the Hamilton actor, composer, playwright, rapper and lyricist. With the white hot year Miranda had, it would have been an insult not to honor him for 2016.
Miranda’s hip-hop-infused musical take on Alexander Hamilton’s life garnered the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Drama as well as the 2016 Grammy for Best Musical Theater Album. It was also nominated for 16 Tony Awards last year and took home 11 of those awards. If a Grammy, Tony and Pulitzer weren’t enough, Miranda was also awarded the Drama League Distinguished Performance Award—an honor that a performer can only receive once in their entire career span—for his portrayal of Hamilton. President Barack Obama, however, was able to get a taste of Miranda’s highly-coveted musical act, as some of the cast of Hamilton were invited to perform at the White House—a visit which included the viral freestyle session by Miranda rapping from prompts held up by the POTUS.
Aside from the accolades, the musical maestro also went on to release a book titled Hamilton: The Revolution, co-authored by Jeremy McCarter, which detailed the behind-the-curtains story on how Hamilton went from an idea to becoming one of the hottest tickets on Broadway. Miranda played Hamilton’s lead role up until July 9, 2016, telling the Associated Press that he definitely plans to reprise the role of the 10-dollar founding father down the line. “For people who will say, ‘But I’ll never see Lin as Hamilton!’ — yes, you will,” Miranda said. “I have written this insane part that I can’t seem to get tired of, that is new every night… I think this is a role I will be going back to again and again. I know it feels like the end of the world to a very small number of people now, but I plan to revisit this role a lot.”
Miranda, always the renaissance man, has also found other ways to keep himself busy during his hiatus from the hit show. He went on to work on Disney’s Moana, helping to create nod-worthy music alongside Opetaia Foa’i and Mark Mancina for the animated film. “How Far I’ll Go” – one of the songs from the Moana soundtrack – went on to receive nominations from the Critics’ Choice Awards, Golden Globes and an Oscar nod. Suffice it to say that Disney isn’t letting the Puerto Rican with the Midas touch just walk away, as they also tapped him to produce and co-compose the upcoming live-action remake of The Little Mermaid and he will also co-star as the character Jack in Disney’s Mary Poppins Returns, which is slated for release on Christmas Day in 2018.
Now, with all of these feats, how could we have denied this brother a spot in our MOTY 2016? Miranda has had two extraordinary years, and we’re excited to see what he hits us with next.
© Getty Images/Tasos Katopodis