Jason Weaver, the singer who voiced young Simba in the original version of The Lion King, has a lot to celebrate. His hit song “I Just Can’t Wait to Be King” has sold over 2 million records worldwide, making it one of the most successful Disney songs of all time.
Weaver, who is now 44 years old, shared the news on his Instagram account, thanking his fans and his mother for their support.
“I definitely would like to take a moment this morning to THANK MY HEAVENLY FATHER and LORD/SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST FOR CONTINUING TO BLESS ME AND MY FAMILY. 30 years later and the platinum plaques from this iconic animated film keep comin in. Wow… God is amazing, man. He is truly worthy to be praised. I would also like to express to everyone just how APPRECIATIVE I am for all of the love that I’ve been able to receive over the years from fans around the world who absolutely love The Lion King. Thank yall so much for the love and support! I definitely would also like to thank disney, Sir Elton John and Tim Rice for giving a kid from Chicago a shot to be a part of cinematic history. THANK Y’ALL!! A 199 Lastly, but most importantly… 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!! We’re double platinum 30 years later, mane.!”-Jason Weaver wrote on Instagram
In an interview with Vlad TV, Weaver revealed the story behind his decision to turn down a $2 million offer from Disney in favor of royalties.
“Back in 1994, when I was 15 years old, Disney came to me with a $2 million check, which at the time seemed like a lot of money. The problem is that there were no royalties attached to the offer, meaning that if I accepted the payment, I’d be paid the $2 million and that would be it,” he wrote.
He continued, “But my mother, who was my manager at the time, had a vision. She knew that Disney had a reputation for re-releasing their movies and making a lot of money over time. She also knew that The Lion King was going to be a classic, and that the songs were going to be timeless. So she negotiated a deal that gave me $100,000 upfront and a share of the royalties for the rest of my life.”
Weaver said that his mother’s decision was the best thing that ever happened to him, as he has made well over $2 million from the royalties and counting. He also said that he is grateful for the opportunity to be part of such an iconic movie and soundtrack.