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Meet Lin-Manuel Miranda, the Latino Taking Broadway by Storm

Lin-Manuel Miranda is the young and tenacious phenom behind the Broadway musical hit Hamilton. Never heard of it? You’re about to. It’s a hip hop musical about one of the U.S.’s founding fathers that is so popular, a national tour from Chicago to LA was just launched. Here’s how Miranda created an artistic empire with his pioneering music and writing style.

Miranda, who is of Puerto Rican descent, grew up listening to an eclectic mix of music in his bilingual home.

https://www.instagram.com/p/5tFyJjADG9/?taken-by=peace.love.lin

Miranda’s cultural influences inspired his breakthrough musical, In the Heights.

Credit: Steven Henry / Getty

During his time as a college student at Wesleyan University, Miranda started working on a draft for a play called In the Heights. The musical was set in Washington Heights, the Dominican-American neighborhood in New York City. After graduating college, Miranda worked as an English teacher while he tried to get In The Heights off the ground. In 2008, In The Heights made its debut, bringing salsa dancing, bodegas and rap music to Broadway. It soon became a runaway hit, earning 13 Tony Award nominations and winning four, including Best Musical.

The best part? It featured lots of Latinos. Here’s a taste of In The Heights:

CREDIT: MarksM5 / YouTube

Wondering why a Puerto Rican dude plays a Dominican? Miranda said he wanted to stay true to Washington Heights : “It wouldn’t be a fair representation of Washington Heights if I were playing a Puerto Rican. All you can do is give the most honest portrayal you can. When I speak Spanish in the show, it’s with a Dominican accent.”

After the success of In the Heights, Miranda got the idea for his next musical on the beach.

Miranda gave his first sneak preview of Hamilton to President Obama.

CREDIT: The White House/YouTube

Back in 2009 when Miranda’s star was rising, he dropped a few flows in front of President Obama. He was invited to the White House to perform during the White House Poetry Jam that year. His performance included the opening song to what would go on to become Hamilton the musical.

Since then, Hamilton has made its debut. Not only is it insanely popular on Broadway… the soundtrack is also a hit.

Miranda has plenty of famous fans, including J.Lo, who waits for him at meet-and-greets.

And he’s not afraid to push the envelope – on stage and off.

Are you excited to watch “Hamilton” if it hits a major city near you? Click on the share button to discuss with your friends!

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