Justin Paul

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Award-Winning Composer

College & University
Broadway & Theatre
Pop Culture
Words & Music

Justin Paul: Biography at a Glance

  • Won a Grammy for Best Compilation Soundtrack For Visual Media for "The Greatest Showman"
  • Composed the music and lyrics for acclaimed Broadway musical "Dear Evan Hansen," won Tony for Best Original Score and Grammy for Best Musical theater Album
  • Won Oscar for Best Original Song for “City of Stars,” from "La La Land"
  • Won Golden Globe for Best Original Song and nominated for a Grammy for “This is Me” from "The Greatest Showman"
  • Slated to write songs for Disney’s upcoming live-action adaptations of "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" and "Aladdin"


Justin Paul is an Oscar, Golden Globe, and Tony-winning composer and lyricist, best known for his songwriting partnership with Benj Pasek.

Alongside Pasek, Paul won his first Tony Award in 2017 for the score of the Broadway musical, "Dear Evan Hansen." This came only shortly after winning an Academy Award for Best Original Song for “City of Stars” from the film "La La Land." The duo most recently won the Golden Globe for Best Original Song for “This Is Me” from the hit film "The Greatest Showman," which was also nominated for an Oscar.

Paul was musically gifted from an early age, playing piano, drums, and singing in church as a child. When he was eight, he began attending a performing arts program at the Music Theatre of Connecticut. Paul holds a BFA in musical theater from the University of Michigan, where he first met fellow theater student Benj Pasek during his first year. After discovering a shared interest, they quickly began working together.

Their first collaboration, "Edges," was a song cycle that went viral within the musical theater-student community and was performed at schools around the country. In 2006, they were awarded the prestigious Jonathan Larson Award–which highlights writers and composers trying to break into the field–making them the youngest to have ever won the accolade.

After graduating, Paul found continued success. He worked for the Disney Channel along with his creative partner, and was later hired to write for the stage musical version of "James and the Giant Peach."

Paul debuted on Broadway in 2012, when he and Pasek rewrote the score of "A Christmas Story: The Musical," which received rave reviews and was nominated for both a Drama Desk Award and a Tony. In 2013, the duo contributed multiple songs to the Broadway-themed ABC series "Smash."

The duo’s best known work, "Dear Evan Hansen" opened on Broadway in December 2016 and was a wild success, receiving nine Tony nominations and winning six, including Best Score and Best Musical. At the same time, "La La Land’s" soundtrack – which featured lyrics by Pasek and Paul – reached number two on the Billboard 200. "La La Land" won six Academy Awards, including Best Original Song for "City of Stars," which Paul co-wrote.

Following their huge success with La La Land, Paul and Pasek began composing the music and lyrics for the musical biopic "The Greatest Showman," about P.T. Barnum, which came out in December 2017. The duo's song "This Is Me" won a Golden Globe for Best Original Song and was nominated for Best Original Song at the 90th Academy Awards.

Paul and Pasek are currently writing songs for Disney's upcoming live-action film adaptation of "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs," and are slated to write new songs for Disney's 2019 live-action film adaptation of "Aladdin" in collaboration with Alan Menken.

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