JD McCrary is an American child actor and singer known for his roles in films and TV shows like The Lion King (2019), Little (2019), and Tyler Perry’s Young Dylan (2020). McCrary got his big break voicing young Simba in Disney’s photorealistic computer-animated remake of The Lion King directed by Jon Favreau.
At just 12 years old, McCrary has already established himself as a rising talent in Hollywood. He made his acting debut in 2016 on the TV show Empire and has gone on to land other significant parts like playing a young Michael Jackson in the BET miniseries The New Edition Story (2017).
Early Life and Career Beginnings
John David McCrary was born on July 17, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. From an early age, McCrary displayed a talent and passion for singing and acting. He would put on shows for his family and entered talent competitions as a child.
McCrary got his first big break in 2016 at just 5 years old when he was cast as Young Lucious on the Fox drama series Empire. He appeared in two episodes of the show’s third season. This opened doors for the young performer to land more roles.
In 2017, McCrary portrayed a young Michael Jackson in the BET miniseries The New Edition Story about the R&B group New Edition. His performance as the legendary King of Pop showcased his singing and dancing abilities.
Breakthrough Role in The Lion King
McCrary’s most prominent role to date came in 2019 when he voiced Young Simba in the CGI remake of Disney’s The Lion King directed by Jon Favreau. The film featured photorealistic computer-animated animals and landscapes.
The young actor and singer beat out thousands of boys at auditions to land the coveted role of Young Simba. He had to record dialogue and songs like “I Just Can’t Wait to Be King” in studios. McCrary’s expressive voice brought the young lion cub to life.
The Lion King was a massive box office smash, grossing over $1.6 billion worldwide. It became one of the highest-grossing films of all time. McCrary’s vocal performance as Young Simba was praised, helping launch him into more high-profile roles.
Other Notable Roles
Following his breakthrough in The Lion King, McCrary landed more prominent acting jobs. In 2019, he appeared as the younger version of the character Jack, played by Marlon Wayans, in the comedy film Little. He had to portray the kid version of an adult character convincingly.
McCrary also got to work with famous comedian Kevin Hart in the 2020 TV series Tyler Perry’s Young Dylan on Nickelodeon. He played a young kid who moves in with his wealthy aunt and has to adjust to a new family and school.
The talented young actor continues to land interesting roles that showcase his talents. He has a bright future ahead in the entertainment industry.
What is JD McCrary’s Net Worth?
While still very young in his career, JD McCrary has already amassed respectable earnings from his acting and singing projects. Most sources estimate the net worth of JD McCrary to be around $500,000 as of 2023.
The vast majority of McCrary’s net worth has come in recent years from his roles in major films like The Lion King and Little along with his TV series regular role on Tyler Perry’s Young Dylan.
Here is a breakdown of how JD McCrary has built his $500,000 net worth so far:
- The Lion King (2019) – McCrary likely earned a low six-figure paycheck for his starring voice role as Young Simba in this billion-dollar box office smash. The exposure also helped him land more work.
- Little (2019) – McCrary may have earned around $50,000-$100,000 for his supporting role playing the kid version of Marlon Wayans’ character in this moderate box office success.
- Tyler Perry’s Young Dylan (2020-present) – As one of the main stars of this Nickelodeon series, McCrary probably earns a per-episode salary in the range of $5,000-$10,000. Over multiple seasons, it adds up.
- Other Roles – Appearances in shows like Empire, commercials, and music recordings have also contributed smaller amounts to McCrary’s rising fortune.
Considering he is not even a teenager yet, JD McCrary has done incredibly well for himself financially so far as a young working actor. If he continues booking major projects, his net worth has enormous potential to grow substantially in the coming years. He is well on his way to becoming very wealthy from his talents.
How Much Did JD McCrary Make for The Lion King?
While exact figures are undisclosed, industry experts estimate JD McCrary likely earned somewhere between $100,000 to $300,000 for his starring role as the voice of Young Simba in the blockbuster 2019 remake of The Lion King.
The photorealistic computer-animated remake went on to gross over $1.6 billion at the global box office. It became one of the highest-earning films of all time.
For a 10-year-old kid, a low to mid six-figure payday for a single role in a hugely successful movie is an impressive haul. The Lion King remake truly marked McCrary’s big breakout and enabled him to start commanding much higher paydays.
Given how important his vocal performance was to portraying the iconic Young Simba character, it is likely McCrary was compensated handsomely. While not McCrary’s sole source of wealth, The Lion King accounts for a significant portion of the child actor’s growing fortune.
JD McCrary’s Earnings from Other Roles
In addition to The Lion King remake, JD McCrary has earned solid paydays for other acting roles in recent years that contribute to his rising net worth:
- Little (2019) – For his supporting role as the kid version of a character played by Marlon Wayans in this comedy, McCrary may have been paid $50,000-$100,000.
- Tyler Perry’s Young Dylan (2020-present) – As a series regular, McCrary likely earns between $5k-$10k per episode of this Nickelodeon show.
- Empire (2016) – While amounts for his first role are undisclosed, McCrary may have made around $1,000-$2,000 for his small guest spot.
- The New Edition Story (2017) – Playing young Michael Jackson in this TV movie likely earned McCrary a five-figure paycheck.
- Commercials – McCrary has appeared in commercials for brands like Nintendo, generating additional income.
Thanks to his early successes, JD McCrary now has the ability to be selective and negotiate substantial salaries if he wishes as he books future roles. His earning power will continue to grow.
What are JD McCrary’s Other Income Sources?
In addition to acting, JD McCrary earns income through:
- Music royalties – McCrary has released several singles and the album Shine. Music streaming and sales generate royalties.
- Brand endorsements – McCrary can now earn money promoting brands and products on social media.
- Live performances – He could earn money singing or acting on stage.
- YouTube – McCrary could monetize videos on a YouTube channel, though he currently does not have one.
As his fame increases, McCrary has the potential to supplement his acting income through music, endorsements, live shows, and YouTube. However, acting will likely remain his primary income source.
How Does JD McCrary Spend His Money?
While very young, JD McCrary appears to live a comfortable life without too many lavish expenditures. Here are some of the ways he may spend his earnings:
- Comfortable house in Los Angeles for his family with cost of living around $5,000-$10,000 per month.
- Travel costs for acting roles and press tours.
- Clothes from kids designers like Gucci and Nike to wear at premieres and events.
- Toys and entertainment like video games, movies, amusement parks.
- Savings set aside in trusts by parents for future education and career.
McCrary’s parents probably administer his earnings wisely. As a child star, he seems to live a relatively normal life while getting to enjoy some of the perks of his success. Most of his wealth is likely saved for his future rather than extensively splurged.
Does JD McCrary Come From a Wealthy Family?
While gaining substantial wealth of his own now, JD McCrary does not come from an especially wealthy background. His mother DeRon McCrary works various jobs such as transportation coordinator and project consultant. His father Donnie Ray McCrary is a musician and songwriter.
Growing up, McCrary lived in a modest apartment in Inglewood. His parents worked hard to support his talents by taking him to auditions and acting classes. Now the income McCrary earns helps support his family.
Rather than being born into wealth, McCrary gained fortune from his natural skills and likability. His parents serve as loving guides and managers who encourage him to work hard and plan for his future.
Charity and Philanthropy
As with many successful young stars, JD McCrary’s parents help him give back by supporting various children’s charities including:
- Make-A-Wish Foundation – Grants wishes to kids with critical illnesses. McCrary helps raise money.
- KIN Community – Provides food and care for at-risk children. McCrary has donated money.
- Children’s Hospital Los Angeles – McCrary has visited kids at this top pediatric hospital.
While still young, McCrary is developing a spirit of generosity by giving back some of his earnings to help children in need. As his wealth grows, he may become involved in more philanthropic causes.
JD McCrary’s Career and Future Earnings Potential
At just 12 years old in 2022, JD McCrary’s net worth of approximately $500,000 is very strong considering his early career stage. If he continues on his current trajectory, what does McCrary’s future earning potential look like?
JD McCrary already has several high-profile projects lined up that could significantly boost his wealth:
- The Lion King prequel – McCrary will likely reprise his role as young Simba in this follow-up Disney film.
- American Born Chinese – McCrary stars in this upcoming fantasy series for Disney+ based on a graphic novel.
- House Party – McCrary will appear in this comedic reboot of the 1990 cult classic film.
These forthcoming roles in major films and shows will continue to raise McCrary’s profile while paying handsomely.
Music Career Potential
In addition to acting, JD McCrary could earn considerable income from music by:
- Releasing more singles and albums.
- Streaming royalties from major platforms like Spotify.
- Concert tours and live performances.
However, an extensive music career seems secondary right now to McCrary’s film and TV focus.
Future Earning Power
Looking ahead, if McCrary lands more leading or co-starring roles in major movies and show into adulthood, his earning power could rise substantially.
Here are realistic projections for McCrary’s future wealth potential if his career stays strong over the next decade:
- By age 18 – $2 million net worth
- By age 25 – $5 million+ net worth
- By age 30 – $10 million+ net worth
Of course, this assumes McCrary transitions smoothly into more adult roles. If so, his rising star power could make him very wealthy in the years ahead.
Despite his youth, JD McCrary has already achieved impressive financial success. With an estimated current net worth of $500,000 primarily from his acting roles, McCrary is one of the most promising and wealthiest young stars in Hollywood.
Key projects like voicing Young Simba in 2019’s The Lion King remake have earned McCrary hundreds of thousands already. As he transitions into more mature roles, McCrary has the potential to become a multi-millionaire in adulthood if he can continue captivating audiences. His singing talents also provide income potential.
For now, McCrary appears grounded, living a normal childhood while enjoying some of the perks his success provides. Wise guidance from his parents helps McCrary focus on passion over profit, though large paychecks allow him to support his family and donate to charity.
JD McCrary provides a feel-good story of a talented, humble kid achieving great success at a young age through hard work. His rising net worth reflects his skills, marketability, and work ethic. Still just at the start of his career, the future looks incredibly bright for this young star both creatively and financially.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does JD McCrary make per year?
For his various acting roles, music royalties, and other income sources, JD McCrary likely earns around $200,000-$300,000 per year on average at this stage in his career. However, his annual earnings have the potential to rise significantly as he books bigger roles.
What was JD McCrary’s salary for The Lion King?
While the exact figure is undisclosed, industry experts estimate JD McCrary earned between $100,000-$300,000 total for his work voicing Young Simba in the 2019 Lion King remake.
How rich will JD McCrary be?
Based on his early successes and future earning potential, JD McCrary has the potential to build a net worth of $10 million or more in adulthood if he can transition smoothly to more mature roles. Much depends on his continued career trajectory.
What is JD McCrary’s most profitable role?
Without question, JD McCrary’s most profitable role so far has been voicing Young Simba in the 2019 version of The Lion King. The worldwide blockbuster allowed him to raise his fees substantially for subsequent roles.
Is JD McCrary a celebrity kid?
No, JD McCrary does not come from a famous or celebrity family. His parents work regular jobs in creative fields, and he gained fame through his own talents, not his ancestry. This makes his success story more impressive.
Does JD McCrary sing?
Yes, JD McCrary is a talented singer as well as an actor. He has released several singles and an album called Shine. Singing is part of McCrary’s skills that help make him so marketable for youth-oriented films and shows.
Is JD McCrary on social media?
Yes, the rising star shares photos and updates from his career on Instagram under the verified handle @jaygeemccrary. As of 2022, he has over 365,000 Instagram followers. McCrary does not currently have public accounts on other major social platforms.