Hamilton, Broadway’s hip-hop-infused smash about Founding Father Alexander Hamilton, has won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. It became the ninth musical in the Pulitzer’s 100-year history to win this award after Next to Normal in 2010 and Rent in 1996.
“It is a tremendous honor to even be considered for this very prestigious award,” said Hamilton author, composer, lyricist and star Lin-Manuel Miranda in a statement. “To win today for Hamilton is beyond my wildest dreams,” he said. Miranda’s debut musical In the Heights was recognized as a finalist for the Pulitzer in 2009.
The Pulitzer is the latest of countless awards Hamilton and Miranda have won this season. The musical won the 2016 Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album. Miranda, Hamilton’s 35-year-old composer, also became the recipient of the 2015 MacArthur “Genius” Award. The musical has grossed more than $60 million at the box office and has been sold out for months, according to Fortune.
In an interview with Rolling Stone, Miranda said that he came across Ron Chernow’s 2004 biography of the first Treasury Secretary haphazardly in 2008. Miranda instantly connected Hamilton’s unorthodox immigrant upbringing with those of his rap heroes like Notorious B.I.G. and Jay Z. The musical based on Hamilton’s life has been hailed by politicians of both political parties from President Obama to Dick Cheney. Notably, the cast is nearly all African-American and Hispanic.
The Pulitzer Prize announcement included prizes awarded to writers for The New Yorker magazine. Kathryn Schulz was awarded the Pulitzer for feature writing and Emily Nussbaum won for television criticism.