Renaissance Man: How Donald Glover Did It All


Source: USA Today

Lili Olson, Scoop Writer

Donald Glover is and will remain one of the most influential figures of our generation. Under the pseudonym “Childish Gambino”, Glover released four studio albums and fifteen singles, but his artistry doesn’t stop there. He also starred in many notable films and TV shows, such as Community, The Lion King, The Lazarus Effect, and Spider Man: Homecoming. Furthering his resume, Glover has written, produced, acted and directed in his own and others’ comedy specials and more serious projects. Using his voice in these ventures, he has spoken out about racism, toxic masculinity and police brutality. He has done all this before forty… and he’s not stopping anytime soon.

Glover began in high school when he transferred from his public high school to the DeKalb School of Arts and later attended New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. While in school he wrote for and performed in comedy groups eventually catching the attention of producer David Miner. Miner saw writing samples Glover had written for The Simpsons and encouraged Tina Fey to hire him as a writer for the NBC sitcom, 30 Rock. Glover wrote on the show for three years and won a Writers Guild of America Award for Writing in the Best Comedy Series. The following year, he began acting in Community and remained on the show until its fifth season. In 2016, Glover created and starred in the show Atlanta, which was nominated for and won numerous awards, including two Golden Globes and two Primetime Emmys. Glover had a unique voice in comedy writing and was highly sought after not only for his writing, but also his acting and directing.

Childish Gambino (a name Glover created from a random name generator website), was conceived after he signed with Glassnote Records in 2011. Later that same year Glover released his debut studio album, Camp. Two years later, he released Because of the Internet and in 2016 he released his third album, Awaken My Love!, which contained the Grammy winning song Redbone. Most notably, in 2018 Glover released This Is America which was number one on the Hot 100 and won four Grammys. The video was monumental in the Black Lives Matter movement and showcased brilliant cinematography and hard hitting vocals. Finally in 2020, Glover released his fourth and final album 3.15.20. He stated “I want to have periods in my life. I feel like Childish Gambino is a period that should come to a close. I like endings,” (NME). Four albums and copious singles later, Childish Gambino left a lasting mark on the hip-hop industry with his powerful lyrics and his clear vision of music and its impact.

At thirty eight years old, Glover is married and has three children. Across his career he has been nominated for 152 awards and has won 44 of them. As for current projects, his show Atlanta has been renewed for a third and fourth season and additionally he’ll be working on a Prime Video project with Fleabag star, Phoebe Waller-Bridge. Regarding his career, Glover is quoted saying “When anybody pays you to be creative, you’re very lucky.”, and at the heart of his life and lines of work, it truly describes him. Creativity, talent and innovation have ensured Glover’s success not only in one industry, but in all his endeavors. Renaissance man is a prestigious term attributed to geniuses across history, and there is no doubt that it fully encapsulates Donald Glover in his life and career.