Who is JD McCrary?
Jaydon McCrary was born on 18 July 2007, in Los Angeles, California, USA. He is an actor, voice actor, singer, and dancer, perhaps best known for voicing young Simba in the 2019 live-action adaptation of “The Lion King”. He’s also worked on other projects such as “The Paynes” and “KC Undercover”.
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The Net Worth of JD McCrary
As of early-2020, JD McCrary’s net worth is estimated to be over $300,000, earned through a short but successful career in the entertainment industry. Apart from acting projects, he is also releasing music as an artist signed to Hollywood Records. He has a strong presence on social media too, showcasing some of his recent endeavors which include singing and modeling.
Early Life and Career Beginnings
At a young age, JD developed an interest in acting through watching television, and expressed a desire to his parents that he wanted to be an actor, for which he received their full support. His parents started looking for auditions and opportunities he could try out. This led him to do a few commercial projects, before landing his first professional role at the age of eight.
His first television appearance was in a two-episode role in “KC Undercover”, aired on Disney Channel, and starring Zendaya playing a teenager who becomes a spy, alongside include Trinitee Stokes, Kadeem Hardison, and Tammy Townsend.
The main character tries to maintain her life as a spy with her parents while also managing everyday situations. While doing auditions, he also showcased talents in singing, and this later led him to collaborate with Donald Glover, also known as Childish Gambino in the music industry. The two worked on the song “Terrified”, and would continue to collaborate in future endeavors.
Continued Work in Entertainment
McCrary’s next project would be in the variety program “Little Big Shots”, created by Ellen DeGeneres and Steve Harvey. The show’s premise focuses on children with talents who showcase their skills, while interacting with host Harvey.
The show has been running for over four seasons, with Melissa McCarthy recently replacing Harvey as the host. McCrary’s time on the show included performing his version of “I Want You Back” by The Jackson 5, and led him to be featured in “The Ellen Show”, in which he performed the Smokey Robinson song “Who’s Lovin You”.
He returned to the stage with Gambino in a performance of “Terrified” for the “60th Annual Grammy Awards”. He also performed during a Los Angeles Clippers game, singing the national anthem, the recording of which went viral.
More opportunities came his way, and he had support roles in “Teachers” and “I’m Dying Up Here”, the latter a series aired on Showtime about stand-up comedians during the 1970s, following the story of a group of aspiring comedians who want to succeed, and potentially gain a feature on the “Tonight Show” hosted by Johnny Carson.
Music Releases and Rise to Fame
In 2018, JD made his first official music release with “Inviting All of You”, which gained the attention of record executives, and a few months later it was announced that he had signed to Hollywood Records owned by Disney Music Group, making him the youngest artist to sign with the company.
A few weeks after his signing, he released his second single called “My Name” which has an accompanying music video. He released the song “Keep in Touch” the following year, which is his first single to be officially made with the label.
His next project would be another acting gig, as he was cast in the Oprah Winfrey Network show “The Paynes” – the sitcom began airing in 2018 and is a sequel to “Tyler Perry’s House of Payne”, continuing the story of the Payne family who become part of a new community containing unfamiliar and new personalities. The show is noted for the family’s dealing with everyday issues and life lessons, and has been running for a season and 38 episodes.
Breakthrough – The Lion King
In 2019, McCrary was cast in the film “Little” in which he was credited as one of the stars, alongside Issa Rae and Regina Hall, in the tale of a woman who’s transformed into a child version of himself. It was produced by Marsai Martin, who at the film’s creation, became the youngest executive producer of a Hollywood production.
His next project would be his breakthrough, as he was cast in a voice role of the live-action adaptation of “The Lion King”, voicing a younger Simba. The film saw him collaborate with Donald Glover once more, who voices adult Simba.
The film is a remake of the 1994 film of the same name, featuring a star-studded cast including Seth Rogen, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Keegan-Michael Key, with James Earl Jones reprising his role from the original. The film was a box office success, and surpassed “Frozen” to become the highest-grossing animated film of all time.
During the same year, he was also cast in the series “American Soul” in which he plays a young Michael Jackson. The show is the story of the dance program “Soul Train” and the man behind it, Don Cornelius.
While working on acting, he also continued his music releases, with his debut EP “Shine” released during the same year.
At the age of 12 JD is single, and working on his music and acting career. On multiple occasions he has expressed his adoration for the life and career of Michael Jackson, citing him as his biggest musical influence, also citing Chris Brown, Stevie Wonder, Justin Bieber, and Bruno Mars as influences. He’s worked with some of the biggest names in the music industry and even had a chance to work with Beyonce for “The Lion King”. He has praised these talents, stating that they treat him as if they’ve been friends for a long time.