The multi-talented Donald Glover has a lot going on in May: He unleashed the viral hit music video “This is America” on May 5th and appeared on Saturday Night Live as host and musical guest that same evening. And he plays Lando Calrissian in Solo, a Star Wars Story, which opens in theaters on May 25. But what is Donald Glover’s net worth?
Donald Glover’s net worth has been estimated at $12 million. Given his steady and increasingly distinctive output in a number of media, you can expect that number to skyrocket in the coming years.
The Early Years
Donald Glover was born on September 25, 1983, and raised in Stone Mountain, Georgia (half an hour from Atlanta, where he currently resides).
His extended family included his older brother Stephen (who remains a close collaborator today), two younger sisters, and a large number of foster siblings who exposed Glover to a wide array of worldviews.
With many movies and TV shows prohibited at home by his strict religious parents, Glover made up his own movies, recording audio tapes of stories he’d invent with his brother. High school dramatics provided another creative outlet, and his classmates would vote Glover “Most Likely To Write For The Simpsons.”
30 Rock And Beyond
Glover attended college at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. While still living in an NYU dorm he was hired as a staff writer for Tina Fey’s NBC sitcom 30 Rock.
Too talented to be contained in the writer’s room, Glover would eventually appear in the show, and after three years, with Fey’s encouragement, left 30 Rock to pursue other opportunities.
Six days later Glover was cast in the sitcom Community. He played Troy Barnes, a former high school quarterback who, over the course of five seasons, embraced his inner nerd.
Although Glover was not a credited writer on the show, he would improvise many of his finest, funniest lines, to the point where as show creator Dan Harmon recalls, “there was a transitional point where we literally started writing in the script, ‘And then Donald says something funny.'”
Music and Movies
But Glover’s considerable talent was not to be contained by television alone.
During his tenure on Community Glover’s music career began in earnest.
Glover had released a few mixtapes as Childish Gambino, but his major label debut occurred in 2011 with his first album Camp.
The album sold 242,ooo copies, earning Glover $250,000. His next album, 2013’s Because the Internet, earned Glover $330,000 and his first Grammy nominations.
That album, and 2016’s “Awaken, My Love!” were both certified Gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (selling 525,000 and 100,000 copies, respectively).
Amid all of this activity, Glover became an in-demand movie actor, as well; 2015 alone saw him appear in three major motion pictures: The Lazarus Effect (which made $38.4 million at the box office), Magic Mike XXL (which made $122.5 million at the box office), and The Martian (which took in a whopping $630.2 million at the box office).
Though an enthusiastic fan campaign to get Glover cast as Spider-Man in a movie didn’t quite work out, the call was widespread enough that Glover was cast in a small but crucial role in the recent Spider-Man: Homecoming (which made $880.2 million at the box office).
The TV series Atlanta may well be the work for which Glover is best remembered.
Modeled on disparate TV shows as Seinfeld and Tiny Toon Adventures, Atlanta tells the story of Earn (Glover), a Princeton dropout fighting depression and homelessness as he works as manager to his cousin, the up-and-coming rapper Paper Boi (played by Brian Tyree Henry).
Glover earned $75,000 per episode for his work on the first season of the show, which showcased both his surreal worldview and his commitment to his community.
He brought together an all-black writer’s room for the show, with most of his staff pulled from outside the world of television.
Atlanta is FX’s most-watched comedy, and has received an abundance of awards, including the Emmy Awards for Outstanding Lead Actor and Outstanding Director for a Comedy Series for Glover.
Atlanta‘s second season, its episodes collectively titled “Robbin’ Season,” continued to garner critical acclaim and enthusiastic viewership, even as it juiced its weirdness to higher levels and demonstrated Glover’s bold willingness to abandon comedy completely (most distinctively in the terrifying and emotional Gothic horror episode “Teddy Perkins,” one of this year’s greatest episodes of any television program.)
The final episode of the season aired May 10, although Glover has signed a deal with FX to create a number of different properties.
With the premiere of Solo: A Star Wars Story on May 25, Glover’s casting as the super-cool swindler Lando Calrissian already has fans suggesting that he should get his own movie too.
Glover himself is giddy over being cast in the role, a boyhood hero. “It’s the biggest boat you can be on,” he told The Hollywood Reporter, even as he acknowledged the drawbacks of being simply an actor in a gigantic Hollywood franchise.
Throughout all of this, Glover has operated out of a home in Atlanta’s increasingly-hip Inman Park neighborhood (valued at $1.174 million); he also maintains an apartment in L.A.’s Hollywood Hills (valued at $1.3 million).
He has donated his time and money in support of the charities Community Connections (a group that provides children living in foster homes with essential items) and Oceana (which works to protect the world’s oceans).
Lessons from Donald Glover’s Net Worth
Considering Glover’s success in so many fields, it’s impossible to say that any of them are necessarily side projects, since he has excelled in everything he’s done.
Donald Glover’s work as a creator has found him balancing his commitment to telling his community’s truths with his awareness that he’s working for a network with a bottom line.
This has enabled him to create groundbreaking work with creativity, emotion, and integrity while becoming a financially successful artist. We can’t wait to see what he does next.
Readers, what are your favorite performances of Donald Glover’s? And are you planning to see Solo, a Star Wars Story in theaters?
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