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Robert Lopez had a songwriting career that few could ever hope to achieve. Best known as a co-creator of the hit Broadway musicals "The Book of Mormon" (2011) and "Avenue Q" (2003), Lopez also penned the songs of the blockbuster animated Disney film "Frozen" (2013). Lopez found success on multiple fronts and was one of only a handful of people who won an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar, and a Tony (colloquially known as "The EGOT").
Partly of Filipino descent, Lopez was born on February 23, 1975 in Manhattan. He showed a prodigious talent when he wrote his first song at the age of seven. After graduating from Hunter College High School, Lopez enrolled in Yale University, where he was a member of the famed collegiate a cappella group The Spizzwinks and eventually graduated with B.A. in English.
One of Lopez's earliest entries into musical began when he met fellow songwriter, Jeff Marx. Their first collaboration was "Kermit, Prince of Denmark," a Muppet parody of Shakespeare's "Hamlet." From that experience, Lopez and Marx drafted their own original musical, using Muppet-like characters to deal with adult themes and ideas. The result was "Avenue Q" and initially began as an off-Broadway musical in 2003. However, the musical's critical and popular success quickly pushed it to Broadway later that year and eventually won the three Tony Awards, including Best Musical. Beginning in 2006, Lopez worked with his brother on several episodes on the animated television series, "Wonder Pets" (Nick Jr. 2006-09). Their work on "Wonder Pets" twice won a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Achievement in Music Direction and Composition in 2008 and 2010. Lopez's next big project experienced a bit of development hell. As early as 2005, Lopez worked with "South Park" creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker on creating a religious musical satire. After a very prolonged six years in development, "The Book of Mormon" debuted on Broadway in 2011. Sharply satirical and simultaneously filthy, offensive and sweet, "The Book of Mormon" received wide critical praise. It won the 2011 Tony for Best Musical, as well as two more Tony Awards for Lopez for Best Original Score and Best Book of a Musical. The accolades kept piling on when the production's original cast recording won a Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album in 2012, which gave Lopez his very first Grammy win.
Beginning in 2011, Lopez began collaborating with his wife, Kristen. After sending an impressive demo tape to directors Stephen Anderson and Don Hall, Lopez and his wife were commissioned to provide six songs for the animated film "Winnie the Pooh" (2011). After earning an Annie Award nomination for their work on "Winnie the Pooh," the husband and wife songwriting team was once again approached by Disney to write songs for another animated feature titled "Frozen." Loosely based on Hans Christian Andersen's "The Snow Queen," Disney's "Frozen" was both a commercial and critical hit. Much praise was also given to the songs the Lopezs had written, particularly the song "Let It Go" which became the movie's biggest musical hit. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences also took note of the stirring musical number and awarded Lopez and his wife a Best Original Song award at the 86th Academy Awards. With the win, Lopez officially became the 12th person to win all four major American entertainment awards, putting him alongside such hallowed names such as Audrey Hepburn and Mel Brooks.
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