Disney is the place where generations of stars are born. Many of their actors and musicians have grown up into successful celebrities, making the company a legendary powerhouse for finding new stars. Starting with the Mickey Mouse Club, the variety TV show that aired from 1955 until 1996, Disney is no stranger to the habit of generating new batches of talent. Previous Disney stars who are now successful in their own industries include:
- Ryan Gosling
- Keri Russell
- Christina Aguilera
While Disney is renowned for bringing some of the biggest pop stars into the spotlight, like Miley Cyrus, The Jonas Brothers and Demi Lovato, the competition is still tough. You’d think this new age of self-made talent, social media stars, Youtubers and Nickelodeon stars would deter the company from creating new musical talent. Well, you’d be wrong to assume that.
The new wave of Disney superstars is coming fast, and if you haven’t noticed they’re just as talented as ever. Here are 20 things you didn’t know about the new Disney music stars:
1. Dove Cameron—who is somehow 21 years old—is the star of Disney’s Liv and Maddie where she plays both characters. When she’s on set, she always brings her teddy bear friend, Stanley.
2. Born in Seattle, Cameron moved to Los Angeles at age 14. Before that, she spent a few years of her life living in France with family there, and is fluent in the language.
3. She was in a band called The Girl and the Dreamcatcher with her then-boyfriend Ryan McCartan. After the two broke up in 2016, the band moved on.
4. Cameron once had a scary experience with an eye injury, when a stack of paper scratched her cornea. “Just a big ole paper cut,” she told fans on Twitter after posting photos of herself in an eye patch. She’d have to wear the patch for a few days before recovering.
5. China Anne McClain was just 7 years old when she appeared in The Gospel with Idris Elba and Clifton Powell. She would soon sign on with Disney to star in A.N.T Farm and stick with the company to this day.
6. Along with her sisters, she formed McClain a girl group that has released two singles through the soundtrack of A.N.T Farm. Her father, Michael McClain is a sound engineer who produced the debut album of Solange Knowles.
7. McClain actually won the first (and only) season of ABC’s Sing Your Face Off, a competition that entails impersonating a popular artist. McClain sang as Rihanna, Tina Turner, Michael Jackson, Alicia Keys, James Brown and Whitney Houston.
8. Before joining the Disney brand, she spent several seasons as Jazmine Payne on Tyler Perry’s House of Payne and gave a memorable performance in Grown Ups as Chris Rock’s daughter.
9. Sabrina Carpenter stars as the Shawn Hunter-inspired best friend in Girl Meets World, a sequel to the classic TGIF show Boy Meets World. Like Cameron, she has something to keep her grounded on set. Instead of a stuffed animal, it’s a nickname: Bumble Bee. Her parents gave it to her to make sure she always stays humble.
10. Carpenter came third in The Next Miley Cyrus Project, a singing competition run by the former Disney star. She entered the contest when she was just 10 years old, and beat all but two of the 10,000 entrants.
11. She’s not just a part-time singer. Carpenter has released two full studio albums already, hitting the top 50 on the US charts both times. At this rate, it won’t be long before she has a top 10 hit.
12. Carpenter is a voice actor as well, appearing in several movies as well as the animated Disney series Sofia the First. Frozen 2 anyone?
13. Sofia Carson has starred with Cameron and Carpenter already, and will get to work with McClain in the upcoming film sequel Descendants 2. In the franchise she plays Evie, the daughter of the Evil Queen from Snow White.
14. Born in Ft. Lauderdale, Carson’s parents had moved there from Colombia and raised her to speak both English and Spanish. In addition to her two home languages, she minored in French at UCLA and is fluent in it as well.
15. Carson was actually born Sofia Daccarett Char, and is related to the very influential Char family in Colombia. Members of the family have held many high-ranking political offices.
16. Education is obviously an important thing to her, and while majoring in communications at UCLA she also studied broadcast journalism and international relations.
17. Laura Marano starred in Austin & Ally for Disney, but some people may remember her from a different role. She was one of the original five classmates in Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?
18. Marano was signed to Big Machine Records, which is partially owned by Taylor Swift’s father. The label has acts like Taylor Swift, Tim McGraw and Rascal Flatts.
19. Despite being on the same label as Swift, Marano has admitted that she was extremely starstruck when she met the pop star. She’s described herself as “the most awkward ever.”
20. Marano is also a huge fan of the Game of Thrones/A Song of Ice and Fire series, having read the books several times. Every time a new season comes out, she watches it and then re-reads the book it was based on.