Hamilton was just the beginning.
The smash Broadway musical hit the Great White Way in 2015, but 2016 was the year its creator, Lin-Manuel Miranda, became a phenomenon in his own right.
This year alone, Miranda walked away with three Tonys and a Grammy for the musical. His championing of Alexander Hamilton helped keep the founding father on the 10-dollar bill. Hamilton's America, a documentary melding the life of Hamilton with Miranda's journey to create the musical, premiered on PBS in October.
And though Miranda took his final bow on the Broadway stage in July, he managed to incorporate music’s biggest names into Broadway’s biggest hit on The Hamilton Mixtape, a compilation of covers of the musical's songs by artists ranging from John Legend to Sia. His fame has now gone beyond Hamilton with his work on the music and lyrics for Disney’s animated Moana, which has made more than $200 million worldwide.
The composer/lyricist/actor/producer/artist shows no signs of slowing down, with deals to help bring Mary Poppins back to life in 2018 and produce a film and TV adaptation of Patrick Rothfuss' fantasy-book trilogy The Kingkiller Chronicle.
If you’re worried that Miranda’s new success and opportunities will take him away from the musical that made him a star, don’t worry. "Every time I see a performance, I'd be lying if I said I didn't I get a little jealous about Hamilton," he told USA TODAY in November. "I don’t think that role is done with me yet. It’s a matter of finding the time to jump back in."
Miranda sums up how he became such a force in popular culture quite simply in his bio on Twitter, where he regularly uplifts and entertains his more than 1 million followers: “Making you something new, always.”