Jason Weaver's Mother's Influence on His Career: Turning Down $2 Million for a Dream

CEO Tam DT
Singer and actor Jason Weaver recently achieved a significant milestone. His hit song from 1994, "I Just Can't Wait to be King," featured on the original soundtrack of "The Lion King," was certified double platinum...

Singer and actor Jason Weaver recently achieved a significant milestone. His hit song from 1994, "I Just Can't Wait to be King," featured on the original soundtrack of "The Lion King," was certified double platinum on November 22, after selling an impressive two million copies.

Weaver is known for his starring roles in projects like "Drumline," "Lottery Ticket," and "The Jacksons: An American Dream." Additionally, he has showcased his musical talents in songs like "Stay with Me," "One Call Away," and "Love Ambition."

However, Weaver's most lucrative project came in the early '90s when he combined his two passions while recording the Disney animated classic, "The Lion King." He lent his singing voice to Young Simba and can be heard in the songs "Hakuna Matata" and "I Just Can't Wait to be King."

Jason Weaver celebrates his song “I Just Can’t Wait to be King” going multi-platinum. Jason Weaver celebrates his song “I Just Can’t Wait to be King” going multi-platinum. (Photo: Leon Bennett / Getty Images Entertainment)

On March 17, "Hakuna Matata" achieved double platinum status, and just eight months later, "I Just Can't Wait to be King" followed suit after selling its two millionth copy on November 22. In an Instagram post, Weaver expressed his gratitude to everyone who helped him along the way.

Weaver's list of thanks included Jesus Christ, the Walt Disney Company, Elton John, Tim Rice, and most importantly, his mother, Marilyn "Kitty" Haywood. He acknowledged that his success wouldn't have been possible without her guidance and support throughout his life and career.

He lovingly shared, "I want to thank my mother for everything she’s done to help steer me in the right direction throughout the course of my life, as well as throughout my career. I share all of these accomplishments with her because I wouldn't have been able to achieve ANY of it had it not been for the hard work she put in and the sacrifices that she made so that I could live out my dream. I love you, ma!! Thank you!!"

People praised Weaver's achievement and also recognized his mother's role in securing royalties from the movie. They applauded her for understanding the concept of "residual income" and ensuring Weaver's worth and value were recognized. This decision has undoubtedly paid off, as Weaver has earned more than the initial $2 million offer over time.

In a 2019 interview, Weaver revealed that Disney had initially offered him a $2 million check to sing in the movie. However, thanks to his mother's negotiation skills, they opted for royalties instead of a lump sum. They settled for $100,000 upfront, along with royalties that have proven to be more lucrative in the long run.

During an appearance on the "85 South Show" earlier this year, Weaver shared how he landed the role that made him a millionaire. While filming "The Jacksons: An American Dream," where he portrayed a young Michael Jackson and sang "Who's Loving You," his mother revealed that Elton John was listening in. She informed Weaver that John wanted him to audition for a part in "The Lion King."

Two days after wrapping up "The Jacksons: An American Dream" biopic, Weaver flew to Burbank, California, to record lines for the animated feature. The makers of the film were so impressed with his performance that they were tempted to offer him the entire role. However, Jonathan Taylor Thomas had already been cast as Young Simba.

Jason Weaver's journey in the entertainment industry is a testament to the impact a supportive and visionary mother can have on a child's dreams. By steering him away from immediate financial gain and towards a more rewarding long-term path, Marilyn "Kitty" Haywood has undoubtedly played a significant role in shaping Weaver's successful career.

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