Year Lin Review: Breaking Down Lin-Manuel Miranda's Roller-Coaster 2017

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Lin-Manuel Miranda appears onstage at the opening night curtain call for "Hamilton" at the Pantages Theatre on Aug. 16, 2017 in Los Angeles.

Ever since achieving superstardom thanks to the phenomenon that was Hamilton, Lin-Manuel Miranda has not thrown away his shot by staying busy, capitalizing on his success throughout the past year. From rallying for Hurricane Maria relief for Puerto Rico, getting nominated for all sorts of awards, delivering a slew of memorable appearances on beloved television shows, and becoming a monster presence on Twitter -- presidential spats included! -- here’s everything the Broadway powerhouse has been up to in 2017. (Take a break, Lin-Manuel! There’s a lake upstate...)

January 21

Miranda kicked off 2017 by sitting pretty on the Billboard Hot 100. Following the November 2016 release of Disney’s animated hit Moana, which featured original tracks from the songwriter, the anthemic “How Far I’ll Go” sung by the animated film’s star Auli'i Cravalho peaked on the Hot 100 dated Jan. 21. Perhaps more impressive is that Cravalho’s iteration was the second version of the song to chart, with Alessia Cara’s take on the track peaking at No. 33 a month earlier.

February 26

Making his triumphant debut on Hollywood’s biggest night, Miranda appeared on the Oscars telecast, pre-Best Picture gaffe, alongside Moana’s Cravalho, performing a inspirational rendition of “How Far I’ll Go,” which was nominated for best original song. While the song lost out to La La Land’s “City of Stars” (thereby missing Miranda’s opportunity to complete his EGOT), it capped a busy awards season, which saw him hobnobbing with industry elite at the annual Oscars luncheon (snapping pictures with Matt Damon and Natalie Portman) and attending the Golden Globes in January, where “How Far” met a similar fate by losing best song to the La La track.

June 1

Miranda may have been quiet for a bit, but that’s only because he was in London filming the highly anticipated Disney musical Mary Poppins Returns. Directed by Rob Marshall (Chicago, Nine) and co-starring Emily Blunt as the titular Poppins, Miranda wrapped the film shortly after Memorial Day. “What a joy, every single minute,” the star tweeted of the experience. Mark your calendars: The movie hits theaters in December 2018.

June 28

To celebrate the release of the single “Immigrants (We Get the Job Done)” from 2016’s Hamilton Mixtape album of Ham-remixes, a video dropped featuring Residente, Riz MC and Snow Tha Product. The clip, as well as the song, were no doubt clapbacks at the Trump administration’s anti-immigrant policies and to date has collected over 4 million views. Take that, Donald.

June 30

As if fans weren’t singing along to Hamilton’s infectious soundtrack enough, Miranda dropped a musical gift to kick off the summer by releasing an instrumental version of the cast album. The release was celebrated with a digital #Ham4Ham featuring album producer Questlove along with King George himself, Jonathan Groff.

July 13

Miranda continued an impressive year full of accolades when it was announced the star snagged an Emmy nomination for outstanding guest actor in a comedy series for his October 2016 turn hosting Saturday Night Live, marking his first Emmy nom as a performer. Unfortunately, Miranda came up short at the fall ceremony, losing out to fellow powerhouse SNL host Dave Chappelle.

August 13

Sporting a spiffy navy blue suit, Miranda attended the highly anticipated opening of Hamilton’s run in Los Angeles at the Pantages Theater. With a crowd packed with A-Listers from Jessica Alba to Halle Berry, Miranda took the wildly successful opening in stride, saying, “I’m a mess. Thank you for welcoming this incredible cast with open arms. I have nothing smart to say. My heart is full.” 2017 also saw Ham-mania spread with touring productions on London’s West End, Seattle and San Francisco. In November, it was also announced Manuel will return to the iconic title role for a special run in Puerto Rico.

September 29

One of the most beloved, and quirky, children’s shows ever made a grand return to Netflix with help from our old friend Lin. The Magic School Bus Rides Again, a reboot of the PBS series that ran from 1994-1997, featured an update of its memorable earworm theme sung by Miranda himself. The collaboration made for the perfect marriage of throwback nostalgia with the star’s musical talents.

September 30

Early on a Saturday morning, Miranda found himself in the middle of a political firestorm with a scathing response to President Trump’s handling of Puerto Rican hurricane relief and criticism of the island’s leaders, a mere week after Hurricane Maria mercilessly pounded his beloved homeland. “You’re going straight to hell, @RealDonaldTrump,” Miranda tweeted. “No long lines for you. Someone will say, ‘Right this way, sir.’ They'll clear a path.” Later, Miranda explained the anger behind his tweet: “I’ve never seen the president of the United States attack the victims of a natural disaster before. That has no precedent for me, so those words coming out of me also have no precedent.”

October 6

Following the devastating effects of Hurricane Maria and eager to help the cause, our hero sprang into action releasing the charity song “Almost Like Praying.” A take-off of the West Side Story classic “Maria” featuring some of the biggest Latin stars in the world, from Gloria Estefan to Luis Fonsi, Miranda wrote and produced the track at a frenetic pace, with recording sessions taking place around the world. It was an effort that proved well worth it, as the track snagged the No. 1 spot on the Digital Songs Sales charts dated Oct. 28 and peaked at No. 20 on the Hot 100, Miranda’s first appearance in the Top 40 as an artist.

November 26

Viewers of Larry David’s long-running HBO series Curb Your Enthusiasm were treated to the first of a two-episode character arc featuring the Hamil-star as a heightened version of himself. When David attempts to mount a fictional musical about a fatwa against the legendary writer Salman Rushdie (aptly titled Fatwa! The Musical), he turns to Miranda to star in the fictional production. Cue storylines about falling asleep during Hamilton and even a real-life duel featuring paintball guns, and you have yourself a bevy of classic Curb moments.

December 3

Get ready for little Lin. On Dec. 3, Miranda revealed via Twitter that his wife Vanessa is expecting a new addition to the family with the birth of their second child who’ll play little brother to the couple’s 3-year-old Sebastian, named after the Little Mermaid character. The movie is so dear to Miranda that he’s currently at work on a reboot of the beloved 1992 Disney flick.

December 11

Known for sharing his life and inspirational bursts of wisdom and positivity, Miranda notched a cool 2 million followers on Twitter on Dec 11. To celebrate the landmark, he traded rhymes with fans in a game he dubbed #2Mil2Bars with users sending him a two-bar rhyme and Miranda would hit back with a two-bar of his own. “Damn, my boy Lin's got bars like a donut shop/ We all be getting jelly every time his verses drop,” tweeted Twitter user @JamesMTilton to which Lin-Manuel replied, “Fiendin' for a jelly while I'm fiendin' for a Cruller/ Fiendin' like a nation just waitin' on Robert Mueller.” Mic drop!

December 15

Hamil-heads the world over rejoiced when Miranda announced the kickoff of a year-long project appropriately dubbed the HamilDrops. Every month from now until December 2018, Miranda revealed new Hamilton-related content will be released to the masses. First up, a track dubbed “Ben Franklin’s Song” featuring lyrics courtesy of Miranda performed by The Decemberists.

December 25

After a wild year, Miranda began to close out 2017 on a sad note by announcing the death of his grandmother, Abuela Mundi, on Christmas Day. “I may have more words in the days to come but for now my heart is in pieces and that’s where it’s gonna be for a bit,” Miranda tweeted about his beloved grandmother, who moved from Vega Alta, Puerto Rico to Washington Heights in New York City to help take care of him and his sister. Mundi was also a source of inspiration for the composer, who based a character from his breakout musical In the Heights on her.

Billboard Year in Music 2017


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