Remembering Grammy-Winning MTI Author Micki Grant

Remembering Grammy-Winning MTI Author Micki Grant

With great sadness, we mourn the passing of the highly lauded composer, lyricist, and actor Micki Grant. An artist who defied categorization, Grant's body of work ranged from stage to music to television, and beyond. 

Born with the name Minnie Perkins in Chicago, Illinois, Grant made her Broadway debut in 1963 acting in Langston Hughes' Tambourines to Glory. Nine years later, she would go on to make history as the first woman to write and star in an original Broadway musical in her critially acclaimed musical Don't Bother Me, I Can't Cope, with her collaborator Vinnette Carroll becoming the first Black woman to direct on Broadway. The show went on to receive 4 Tony nominations, including Best Musical. In addition to the amount of praise the show received on The Great White Way, the show was also awarded a Grammy for Best Score from an Original Cast Show Album for its achievement in music. Grant was the first woman to win that award as a composer. The musical was recently revived as part of the Encores! Off-Center series at New York City Center in 2018.

In 1976 Grant and Carroll collaborated once more with the Broadway musical Your Arms Too Short to Box with God, which garnered 4 Tony nominations, and took home the 1977 Tony Award for Best Actress Featured in a Musical awarded to Delores Hall. The show also had 2 subsequent revivals, one in 1980 which introduced and starred Jennifer Holliday, and the second in 1982 which featured Grammy Award winner Patti LaBelle.

Micki Grant received her third Tony nomination for Best Original Score for Working along with fellow authors Stephen Schwartz, Susan Birkenhead, Craig Carnelia, Mary Rodgers, and James Taylor. The songs "Cleanin' Women", "If I Could've Been", and "Lovin' Al" were among her contributions to the show. A production of the revised version featuring new songs by Lin-Manuel Miranda was part of the 2019 Encores! Off-Center series at New York City Center, starring Helen Hunt, Christopher Jackson, Javier Muñoz, Tracie Thoms, and more.

In 1999, Grant received the Living Legend Award from the National Black Theatre Festival for her achievements in the Broadway and theatre industry. Grant left a tremendous impact on not only Broadway and musical history, but on Black history as a whole.


Header Photo © Lia Chang Photography