As Billboard has written about extensively recently, penning a Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 hit as a solo writer is a rare thing in this day and age. But being the lone song author behind an entire hit soundtrack, as Lin-Manuel Miranda has done with the songs to the runaway Disney smash Encanto, is even more unusual — and more lucrative.
Billboard estimates that the eight songs that Miranda wrote — each without co-writers — for the animated musical have thus far generated a combined $4.7 million in global publishing royalties. (Miranda’s share of the royalties will depend on what kind of publishing breakdown his deal has — but at the very least, if he has a straight publishing deal without any publisher share, he will get half that amount.)
That includes about $1.275 million in publishing royalties from the song’s U.S. streams, CD and download sales, and radio play, as well as additional millions in cable royalties from the movie’s availability on the Disney+ streaming service, and general licensing from the songs being played in public spaces (like retail stores, hotels, concert halls, and movie theaters). And the revenue for the Encanto songs is of course compounded by the movie being a global phenomenon, with U.S. receipts accounting for just under 40% of its international box office, according to BoxOfficeMojo.com.
While the most successful song from Encanto to date has been the Hot 100-topping “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” (performed by Carolina Gaitán, Mauro Castillo, Adassa, Rhenzy Feliz, Diane Guerrero, Stephanie Beatriz and Encanto Cast), the soundtrack is particularly notable in that all eight of its original songs (not counting the instrumental score pieces from composer Germaine Franco) having performed well enough to reach the Hot 100.
That Hot 100 tally includes “Surface Pressure” (Jessica Darrow, No. 8), “The Family Madrigal” (Stephanie Beatriz, Olga Merediz and Encanto Cast, No. 20), “What Else Can I Do?” (Diane Guerrero and Stephanie Beatriz, No. 27), “Dos Oruguitas” (Sebastian Yatra, No. 36), “Waiting on a Miracle” (Stephanie Beatriz, No. 48), “All of You” (Stephanie Beatriz, Olga Merediz, John Leguizamo, Adassa, Maluma & Encanto Cast, No. 71) and “Colombia, Mi Encanto” (Carlos Vives, No. 100). No other Disney animated film soundtrack in Billboard history has ever notched as many separate Hot 100 hits before.
It’s also out of the ordinary for a major Disney song — let alone eight from the same soundtrack — to be penned by a solo writer. Of the songs on Billboard‘s Hot 100-determined Greatest of All Time Disney songs list, the great majority are written by a composer/lyricist duo, like Elton John and Tim Rice (“Can You Feel the Love Tonight”) or Alan Menken and Howard Ashman (“Beauty and the Beast”). The only non-Encanto song in the top 10 of that list to be written by a solo author is “You’ll Be in My Heart” from Tarzan, written and performed by Phil Collins.
It all adds up to an unusually large payday for Lin-Manuel Miranda — one that has lasted for essentially the whole of 2022 thus far, as the Encanto soundtrack has reigned atop the Billboard 200 albums chart for six of the last seven weeks (starting with the chart dated Jan. 15), and shows no sign of ending anytime soon.