40 Facts About Alan Menken


Alan Irwin Menken was born on July 22,1949 and is an American composer, pianist, singer, music director, and record producer, best known for his scores and songs for films produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios.


Alan Menken composed the scores and songs for Little Shop of Horrors, Newsies, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Hercules, Home on the Range, Enchanted, Tangled, and Disenchanted, among others.


Alan Menken is one of eighteen people to have won an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar and a Tony.


Alan Menken is one of two people to have won a Razzie, an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar, and a Tony.


Alan Menken is known for his work in musical theater for Broadway and elsewhere.


Alan Menken has collaborated with lyricists such as Muriel Robinson, David Zippel, Howard Ashman, Stephen Schwartz, David Crane, Seth Friedman, Marta Kauffman, Steve Brown, Tom Eyen, David Rogers, Dennis Green, David Spencer, Jack Feldman, Tim Rice, Lynn Ahrens, Glenn Slater, Chad Beguelin, Kyle Hunter, Ariel Shaffir, Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg, Phil Johnston, Tom MacDougall, Benj Pasek, Justin Paul, and Lin-Manuel Miranda.


Alan Irwin Menken was born on July 22,1949, at French Hospital in Manhattan, to Judith and Norman Menken.


Alan Menken's father was a boogie-woogie piano-playing dentist, and his mother was an actress, dancer and playwright.


Alan Menken developed an interest in music at an early age, taking piano and violin lessons.


Alan Menken attended New Rochelle High School in New Rochelle, New York, and graduated in 1967.


Alan Menken remembers: "I'd make up my own Bach fugues and Beethoven sonatas because I was bored with the piano and I didn't want to practice; so I'd go off on tangents".


Alan Menken graduated in 1972 from University College of Arts and Science at the Heights campus, which is the College of Arts and Science.


Alan Menken performed his material at clubs like The Ballroom, Reno Sweeny and Tramps.


Alan Menken contributed material to revues like New York's Back in Town, Big Apple Country, The Present Tense, Real Life Funnies, Diamonds, and Personals.


Alan Menken wrote several shows that were not produced, including Atina, Evil Queen of the Galaxy, with lyrics by Steve Brown.


Alan Menken wrote The Thorn with lyrics by Brown, which was commissioned by Divine in 1980.


Alan Menken finally achieved success as a composer when playwright Howard Ashman chose him and Engel to write the music for his musical adaptation of Kurt Vonnegut's novel God Bless You, Mr Rosewater.


Alan Menken's musical based on the Charles Dickens novella A Christmas Carol, with lyrics by Lynn Ahrens and book by Mike Ockrent, debuted at Madison Square Garden's Paramount Theater in 1994.


Alan Menken collaborated with Stephen Schwartz for Pocahontas, for which the two won two Oscars: Best Song and Best Musical or Comedy Score.


In 1997, Alan Menken reunited with his early collaborator, David Zippel, for his last film in the era, Hercules.


Alan Menken collaborated with Benj Pasek and Justin Paul on writing new songs for the 2019 live-action version of Aladdin, directed by Guy Ritchie.


Alan Menken is working alongside former Disney chief creative officer John Lasseter on a project at Skydance Animation.


Alan Menken is tied for fourth place with late costume designer Edith Head, and currently holds the record for the most wins for a living person.


Alan Menken debuted on Broadway with a musical theatre adaptation of Beauty and the Beast that opened in 1994 and ran for 13 years before closing in 2007.


Alan Menken next created the stage version of The Little Mermaid, which played on Broadway from 2008 to 2009 and for which he received a nomination for a Tony Award for Best Score.


Alan Menken was nominated for another Tony Award for Best Score.


Alan Menken received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2010.


In 2012, Alan Menken won a Tony Award for Best Score for his musical adaptation of Newsies, which ran until 2014.


Alan Menken wrote the music for Leap of Faith, which had a brief run on Broadway in 2012.


Alan Menken gave a concert there, including music that was cut from various productions, while talking about his creative process.


Alan Menken is currently working on stage musical adaptations of Night at the Museum and Animal Farm.


In 2015, Alan Menken co-composed the score for the musical television series Galavant alongside Christopher Lennertz, reuniting him with Tangled screenwriter Dan Fogelman.


The series would be released on Disney's streaming service, Disney+, and Alan Menken would be an executive-producer on the series.


Alan Menken was introduced to ballet dancer Janis Roswick while working with the Downtown Ballet Company.


Alan Menken has received eight Academy Awards, eleven Grammy Awards, one Tony Award, and one Daytime Emmy Award.


Alan Menken has received seven Golden Globe Awards, one Drama Desk Award, and three Outer Critics Awards.


Alan Menken was made a Disney Legend in 2002 and was the recipient of a Richard Kirk Career Achievement Award in 1998, a Freddie G Award for Musical Excellence in 2013, and The Oscar Hammerstein Award in 2013, among others.


In 2019, Alan Menken finally accepted the Razzie Award for "Worst Original Song" he won at the 13th Golden Raspberry Awards for "High Times, Hard Times" from Newsies, becoming the first person to win a Razzie and Oscar in the same year.


Alan Menken wrote the music for the song, and shared the award with lyricist Jack Feldman.


In 2020, Alan Menken reached EGOT status when he won the Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Original Song in a Children's, Young Adult or Animated Program for co-writing the song "Waiting in the Wings" for Rapunzel's Tangled Adventure.