Donald Glover

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Donald Glover
Donald Glover TIFF 2015.jpg
Born Donald McKinley Glover[1]
( 1983-09-25) September 25, 1983 (age 32)
Edwards Air Force Base, California, United States[2]
Residence Los Angeles, California, United States
  • Actor
  • Voice actor
  • Comedian
  • rapper
  • songwriter
  • writer
Years active 2002–present
Musical career
Origin Stone Mountain, Georgia, United States
Instruments Vocals

Donald McKinley Glover[1] (/ˈɡlʌvər/; born September 25, 1983) is an American actor, voice actor, rapper, songwriter, and writer. As a recording artist, he usually performs with the stage name Childish Gambino. While a disk jockey, he performs as mcDJ. He first came to attention for his work with Derrick Comedy and subsequently became a writer for the NBC comedy series 30 Rock. He later played college student Troy Barnes on the NBC sitcom Community.[2] After several self-released albums and mixtapes, Glover signed to Glassnote Records in 2011 as Childish Gambino. He released Camp on Glassnote on November 15, 2011. His second studio album, Because the Internet, was released on December 10, 2013. Glover was nominated for two Grammy Awards in 2014, Best Rap Album for Because the Internet and Best Rap Performance for his single "3005".[3]

Early life[edit]

Glover was born at Edwards Air Force Base, California[2] or Kern, California,[4] and raised in Stone Mountain, Georgia. His mother, Beverly (Smith[4]), is a retired daycare provider, and his father, Donald, Sr., is a retired postal worker.[5] His parents also served as DeKalb County foster parents for 14 years. He was raised a Jehovah's Witness.[6][2] He was voted "Most Likely to Write for The Simpsons" in his High School yearbook.[7] After attending DeKalb School of the Arts, Glover graduated from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts with a degree in dramatic writing in 2006.[8]


2006–10: Acting and music debut[edit]

From 2006 to 2009, Glover was a writer for the NBC series 30 Rock where he also had occasional cameo appearances. He was presented the Writers Guild of America Award for Best Comedy Series at the February 2009 ceremony for his work on the third season.[9] Glover's stage name, Childish Gambino, came from the Wu-Tang Clan's name generator.[10][11] On June 5, 2008, he released an independent album, titled Sick Boi. Glover would then become a member of the sketch comedy group Derrick Comedy, along with Dominic Dierkes, Meggie McFadden, DC Pierson, and Dan Eckman. The group wrote and starred in a feature-length film, Mystery Team, released in theaters in 2009.

On September 17, 2009, Childish Gambino released the independent album Poindexter. A pair of mixtapes, titled I Am Just a Rapper and I Am Just A Rapper 2 were released, in close succession in 2010. Robert Scahill added his producing expertise helping with the majority of the tracks. The track listings for those mixtapes consist of the name of the song "he" raps, followed by the song he raps over. His second album, Culdesac, was set to be released on July 2, 2010, but a couple of last minute additions caused the album to be delayed for a day. The album was made available on July 3.[12] Glover has stated in interviews that on Sick Boi and Poindexter he felt he had to hide behind gimmicks, such as pink hoodies, but with his subsequent projects, he has touched on more personal subject matter, including family, schoolyard bullying, troubled romantic relationships, suicidal thoughts and alcoholism. He has disowned his 2005[13] album, The Younger I Get, as the too-raw ramblings of what he calls a "decrepit Drake."

Glover's stand-up special aired on Comedy Central on March 19, 2010. In May 2010, a fan suggested Glover for the role of Peter Parker in the then-upcoming The Amazing Spider-Man film, encouraging his supporters to retweet the hashtag "#donald4spiderman".[14] The campaign, originally started to see how far social networking could carry a message, quickly gained a large following.[15] The call for Glover to be allowed to audition for the role was supported by Spider-Man creator Stan Lee.[16] Comics writer Brian Michael Bendis, who announced an African-American version of Spider-Man a year later, said he had conceived of the character before Glover's campaign went viral.[17] Bendis gave credit to Glover for influencing the new hero's looks; on seeing him dressed as Spider-Man on Community (a nod to the campaign), Bendis said, "I saw him in the costume and thought, 'I would like to read that book.'"[18] Glover would later voice this incarnation of Spider-Man on the Ultimate Spider-Man animated series.[19]

Glover received the Rising Comedy Star award at the Just for Laughs festival in July 2010.[20] Glover was featured in Gap's 2010 Holiday ad campaign. He DJs and produces electronic music under the moniker "mcDJ" (pronounced "M-C-D-J"). His music is often made available for free download via his website.[citation needed]

On December 1, 2010, Glover released the first track off of his EP titled "Be Alone". He released the next track, "Freaks and Geeks", as well as a five-song track list, on February 11, 2011. On February 25, Glover released the dates for the IAMDONALD tour and also his very first music video for "Freaks and Geeks".[21] The music video was shot by Dan Eckman, the director of the Derrick Comedy troupe. This song was later used in an Adidas commercial featuring Dwight Howard. On March 8, 2011 Glover released the EP via his official website.[22]

Childish Gambino in concert at the Bowery Ballroom in New York City (October 17, 2010)

2011–12: Camp[edit]

On March 16, 2011, Glover hosted the mtvU Woodie Awards held live at South By Southwest. On March 24, 2011, Glover taped his one-hour comedy special Weirdo for Comedy Central; it aired on November 19.[23][24]

Glover appeared at the 2011 Bonnaroo Music Festival on June 9 in the 'This Tent' as Childish Gambino and June 11 at 'The Comedy Theater' with Bill Bailey performing stand up. Comedy Central streamed the comedy live on their website.[25]

On May 4, 2011, in an interview with TheHipHopUpdate, Glover revealed that he was working on an LP, to be released in September.[26] On July 25, 2011, Glover announced that his new album would be titled Camp. On October 8, during his Orlando, Florida concert, he announced Camp would be released on November 15, 2011. Glover worked with friend and film composer Ludwig Göransson on the debut album. [27]On August 20, 2011, at the Los Angeles Rock The Bells concert, he gave an interview to, and he announced to the crowd that he had signed with Glassnote Records.[28] On September 20, his first official single, "Bonfire", was released.[citation needed]

The IAMDONALD tour made 24 stops in 34 days, beginning with Ames, Iowa, on April 16, and finishing with Minneapolis on May 19. In between, this included stops at music venues in Las Vegas, Houston, Washington, and Atlanta.[29]The tour was a one-man live show that consisted of rap, comedy, and video segments. [30]

The Sign-Up Tour was Glover's next pre-album tour. He visited 11 cities over the course of 38 days in October and November 2011.[31] Glover made a website for the tour called Camp Gambino on November 19, four days after his album released.[32] The tour featured special guest Danny Brown and made 20 stops during the course of 32 days along a dates in California in December.[33] On March 14, 2012, several dates on the CAMP tour were postponed due to a fractured foot Glover suffered on March 10, while performing in Tampa, Florida. The tour began in Austin, Texas on April 5 and ended August 10 in Hollywood, California.[citation needed]

On January 11, 2012, Childish Gambino announced on his website that a new mixtape would be coming out soon. On April 2, he released a new song, "Eat Your Vegetables", through his website. On May 14, Funkmaster Flex premiered "Unnecessary," featuring Schoolboy Q. On May 16, Gambino released "We Ain't Them" through his website, produced by himself and frequent collaborator Ludwig. On May 22, Glover appeared on Das Racist's radio show "Chillin' Island" where he premiered a new song, "Tell Me," which featured Himanshu Suri, aka Heems from Das Racist. On May 26, Glover released "Black Faces", featuring Nipsey Hussle and produced by Boi-1da. On May 30, he released a third track, "Silk Pillow," featuring Beck and produced by both Glover and Beck. On June 25, Glover revealed that the mixtape was to be released on July 4, 2012. On June 26, Glover premiered another new track, on Sway in the Morning (on Shade 45), entitled "One Up," featuring his brother, Steve G. Lover. That same day, Glover stated that the mixtape would be titled Royalty despite previous statements that it would not be called that. On July 4, 2012, Glover released Royalty for free via digital download. On July 7, 2012, Gambino released the track, "Body," featuring Prodigy, which did not make the cut for the mixtape. On July 24, 2012, he released the music video for "Fire Fly" through his VEVO account on YouTube.[citation needed]

Donald Glover rapping as Childish Gambino in 2012

On August 21, 2012, BBC Radio 1 premiered Leona Lewis' new song, "Trouble" off her upcoming album Glassheart, which features Childish Gambino. The song was available for purchase via iTunes on October 7, and peaked at #7 on the UK Singles Chart the following week, making it his first UK top 10 single.[citation needed] On November 4, 2012 Ludwig Göransson said in an interview with Portable that he and Glover were in his studio coming up with new ideas for the next album which was to be "bigger" and "with more people involved."[34]

2013–present: Because the Internet and Community departure[edit]

In 2013, Glover signed on to create a music-themed show for FX titled Atlanta in which he will star, write, and executive produce. Consequently, Glover decided to reduce his work for NBC, and only appears in the first five episodes of Community's 13-episode fifth season.[35][36][37] Although many TV stations were interested in picking up his half-hour comedy, he ultimately picked FX due to their willingness to work around his touring schedule.[citation needed]

On October 6, 2013, Glover announced on Twitter that his second studio album was completed.[38] He further announced this at Homecoming Week at Penn State University, stating “I got a new album coming out soon, so this is the last time we’re gonna play a lot of this shit.”[39] On October 8, 2013, he announced its title as Because the Internet and revealed that it would be released in December 2013.[40] On October 21, 2013, Glover released the first single "3005", and announced a release date for the album as December 10, 2013.[41][42] On February 15, 2014, the rapper launched his Deep Web Tour in the UK. On February 27, Childish Gambino was scheduled to begin the United States portion of his tour with a gig at the Fox Theater in Oakland, California.[43] On June 6, 2014, RIAA certified Heartbeat Gold - making it Glover's first certification, and then on July 18, 2014, RIAA also certified 3005 Gold, making it Glover's second certification.[44]

On October 2, 2014, he released a new mixtape titled STN MTN, and the next day he released an EP titled Kauai. The mixtape and the EP follow the story that was last told in Because The Internet and are meant to be a joint project instead of separate projects.[citation needed]

On October 10, 2014, Ubisoft revealed that they had collaborated with Glover to incorporate his song, "Crawl" into Far Cry 4.[45]

On December 5, 2014 Glover was nominated for two Grammy Awards. He was a contender for Best Rap Album for Because The Internet (Glassnote Records) and Best Rap Performance for his single, “3005.”[3]

On March 21, 2015 Glover won an mtvU Woodies Award for Best Video Woodie for the song "Sober" from the Kauai EP.[46]


Glover's music influences include Jay Z, Kanye West, Outkast, Wu-Tang Clan, and Michael Jackson.[citation needed]




Year Title Role Notes
2009 Mystery Team Jason Rogers Also writer and executive producer
2011 Muppets, TheThe Muppets Junior CDE Executive Cameo
2013 To Do List, TheThe To Do List Derrick
2013 Clapping for the Wrong Reasons The Boy Short film; also writer and executive producer
2014 Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day Greg
2015 The Lazarus Effect Niko[47]
2015 Magic Mike XXL Andre
2015 The Martian Rich Purnell


Year Title Role Notes
2005 Late Night with Conan O'Brien Criminal Episode: "July 22, 2005"
2006–2012 30 Rock Various 4 episodes; also writer and executive story editor
2007 Human Giant College Webcam Guy Episode: "24 Hour Marathon"
2009–2014 Community Troy Barnes 89 episodes
2010 Robot Chicken Various voices Episode: "Robot Chicken: Star Wars Episode III"
2010 Comedy Central Presents Himself Stand-up special
2011 Woodie Awards Himself (host) Television special
2011 Regular Show Alpha-Dawg (voice) Episode: "Rap It Up"
2011 Weirdo Himself Stand-up special
2012 The Playlist Remix Victim - Eclectic Method Episode: "Instruments of Destruction"
2013 Girls Sandy 2 episodes
2013 Adventure Time Marshall Lee (voice) Episode: "Bad Little Boy"
2015 Ultimate Spider-Man Miles Morales/Spider-Man (voice) 2 episodes[48]
2015 China, IL William "Transfer Billy" (voice) 4 Episodes
2016 Atlanta Earnest "Earn" Marks Also creator, writer and executive producer[49]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "California Births, 1905 - 1995". Family Tree Legends. Pearl Street Software. p. 2. 
  2. ^ a b c d Lewis, Pete. "Childish Gambino: Growing Gains". Retrieved January 16, 2016. 
  3. ^ a b Lynch, Joe (5 December 2014). "Grammys 2015: And the Nominees Are…". Billboard. Retrieved 25 December 2014. 
  4. ^ a b "Person details for Donald Mckinley Glover". citing California Birth Index, 1905-1995 database; Department of Health Services, Vital Statistics Department, Sacramento. Retrieved January 16, 2016. 
  5. ^ Jensen, Bill (April 13, 2011). "Donald Glover Is More Talented Than You, The comedian/writer/rapper is on a collision course with stardom". 
  6. ^ "Donald Glover on Spider-Man, Stripping in ‘Magic Mike XXL,’ and A Possible ‘Community’ Return". The Daily Beast. 
  7. ^ Eells, Josh. "The Triple Threat: Donald Glover." Rolling Stone 15 Sept. 2011: S4. ProQuest. Web. 5 October 2015.
  8. ^ "Donald Glover". NBC. 
  9. ^ "2009 Writers Guild Awards Television, Radio, News, Promotional Writing, and Graphic Animation Nominees Announced" (Press release). Writers Guild of America. December 8, 2008. Retrieved January 19, 2012. 
  10. ^ Rowles, Dustin (December 23, 2014). "Strange Mystery Behind Donald Glover’s Rap Name, Childish Gambino". Uproxx. 
  11. ^ "Watch Childish Gambino Spit with The Roots on “Jimmy Fallon”". PopDust. April 7, 2011. 
  12. ^ "culdesac". Retrieved December 26, 2010. 
  13. ^ "Childish Gambino – ‘The Younger I Get’". Retrieved March 26, 2012. 
  14. ^ Glover, Donald (May 30, 2010). "You guys. Let's make this happen.". Twitter. Retrieved December 26, 2010. 
  15. ^ Sciretta, Peter (May 30, 2010). "Donald Glover Campaigns for Spider-Man Audition". /Film. Retrieved January 19, 2012. 
  16. ^ Lamar, Cyriaque (June 9, 2010). "Smilin' Stan Lee weighs in on Donald Glover for Spider-Man". io9. Retrieved December 26, 2010. 
  17. ^ Moore, Matt (August 2, 2011). "New Ultimate Spider-Man Is Half-Black, Half-Latino". Huffington Post. Associated Press. Retrieved August 5, 2011. 
  18. ^ Truitt, Brian (August 2, 2011). "A TV comedy assured new Spidey's creator". USA Today. Retrieved January 22, 2012. 
  19. ^ Truitt, Brian (August 26, 2014). "Spider-Man 'can be anybody' — and now he's Donald Glover". USA Today. Retrieved August 26, 2014. 
  20. ^ "Aziz Ansari & Donald Glover To Be Honored In Montreal". Access Hollywood. June 24, 2010. Retrieved December 26, 2010. 
  21. ^ Roberts, Steven (March 8, 2011). "Donald Glover Releases Untitled EP". Retrieved April 10, 2011. 
  22. ^ "iamdonald". March 8, 2011. Retrieved March 21, 2011. 
  23. ^ Carp, Jesse (August 17, 2011). "Community's Donald Glover Schedules Stand-Up Special Weirdo For Comedy Central". Cinema Blend. Retrieved January 22, 2012. 
  24. ^ "Comedian, Writer and Rapper Wunderkind Donald Glover Shows Off His Side-Splitting Stand-Up Style When the World Premiere of "Donald Glover: Weirdo" Debuts Saturday, November 19 at 11:00 P.M. ET/PT on Comedy Central" (Press release). Comedy Central. November 1, 2011. Retrieved November 24, 2011. 
  25. ^ Staples, Derek (May 27, 2011). "Comedy Central to webcast Bonnaroo Comedy Tent". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved January 23, 2012. 
  26. ^ "Donald Glover aka Childish Gambino Talks Odd Future, The Weeknd, His Album, and Record Labels". May 4, 2011. Archived from the original on July 11, 2011. Retrieved May 4, 2011. 
  27. ^ Weté, Brad. "I Ain't No Joke." Billboard 123.42 (2011): n. pag. ProQuest. Web. 5 Oct. 2015.
  28. ^ "Childish Gambino signs to Glassnote Records". August 22, 2011. Retrieved August 23, 2011. 
  29. ^ Jensen, Bill (April 13, 2011). "Donald Glover Is More Talented Than You". The Village Voice. Retrieved May 12, 2011. 
  30. ^ Mari, Christopher. "Donald Glover." Current Biography 76.3 (2015): 16. ProQuest. Web. 5 Oct. 2015.
  31. ^ "Let's Go Camping". September 13, 2011. Retrieved September 13, 2011. 
  32. ^ "Camp Gambino". November 19, 2011. 
  33. ^ "Camp Gambino Dates". December 6, 2011. 
  34. ^ Morrow, Sean (1 November 2012). "Meet Ludwig Goransson: The Dude Behind The Music On Community, Happy Endings And The New Girl". Portable. Retrieved 1 February 2015. 
  35. ^ Itzkoff, Dave (July 9, 2013). "Donald Glover Reduces His Course Load on 'Community.'" Retrieved July 17, 2013.
  36. ^ Donald Glover to Create and Star in New Musical Comedy Series for FX | Culture News. Rolling Stone (August 6, 2013). Retrieved on December 10, 2013.
  37. ^ Donald Glover To Create And Star In Music-Themed FX Comedy Series Project. Retrieved on December 10, 2013.
  38. ^ Goddard, Kevin (October 4, 2013). "Childish Gambino Reveals That Sophomore Album Is Done". Retrieved December 10, 2013. 
  39. ^ Childish Gambino Kicks Off Homecoming Week. (October 7, 2013). Retrieved on December 10, 2013.
  40. ^ Childish Gambino to release new album Because the Internet this winter. Consequence of Sound (October 8, 2013). Retrieved on December 10, 2013.
  41. ^ Mayorga, Dean. (December 3, 2013) Childish Gambino "because the internet" Release Date, Cover Art & Album Stream, HipHop DX. Retrieved on December 10, 2013.
  42. ^ iTunes - Music - 3005 - Single by Childish Gambino. (October 22, 2013). Retrieved on December 10, 2013.
  43. ^ HipHopDX (January 7, 2014). "Childish Gambino Announces "The Deep Web Tour"". HipHopDX. 
  44. ^ "RIAA - Gold & Platinum Searchable Database". April 16, 2015. 
  45. ^ "Far Cry 4 and Childish Gambinbo, together at last". 
  46. ^ Schillaci, Sophie (March 20, 2015). "Taylor Swift, Childish Gambino Win MTV Woodie Awards at SXSW". Entertainment Tonight. CBS Television Distribution. Retrieved April 17, 2015. 
  47. ^ CS (December 18, 2013). "Lionsgate Sets January 2015 Release for Lazarus, Starring Olivia Wilde". Retrieved January 16, 2016. 
  48. ^ Truitt, Brian (August 26, 2014). "Spider-Man 'can be anybody' — and now he's Donald Glover". USA Today. 
  49. ^ O'Connell, Michael (December 12, 2014). "FX Orders Donald Glover Pilot 'Atlanta'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 16, 2016. 

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