China Anne McClain!

China Anne McClain may only be 18, but she is not your average teenage girl. Coming from a musical family, where her dad is a music producer, writer, sound engineer and vocalist and her mom is a vocalist and songwriter she has taken full advantage of this environment to become a famous singer, songwriter, and actress.

China Anne McClain 2011 (cropped)

Some interesting things about her (you probably didn’t know!)

  • Her favorite color is purple
  • She loves taking pictures
  • She loves kids. If she were not an actress, she would be definitely a teacher
  • She has a dog
  • Her favorite singer is Beyonce. In fact she compares her sound to Beyonce’s whose voice she finds soulful and mellow ‘in an R&B kind of way.’
  • She had her ears pierced when she was 13
  • She is an exceptional student
  • She has a little brother named Gabriel. Her father’s production company, Gabesworld is named after him. Gabriel also acts, dances, and sings. He does handstands with ease.

Early life

China Anne McClain was born on 25th August 1998.

Ever wondered where the name China came from?

Her mom had hoped that she would get a boy this time. She already had 2 girls. When she found out that she was going to have a third, she was a bit disappointed. She got home and found a special on TV about Chinese babies, and how you are only allowed to have one. According to the documentary, the Chinese favored boys because they could carry the family name on. Since she was going to have a baby girl, she decided to name her China, for all the girls who to some extent were not preferred by their families.

The beginning

Ian Burkes, a family friend, had visited China’s family and when they were having dinner, she performed a song from “Spy Kids 2”. Burke knew of a director who was looking for a young girl who could sing and act. He wanted her to play Alexis in “The Gospel”, an upcoming film. China fit the description perfectly. Burke called Rob Hardy, the director, to inform him that he had found the actress he was looking for. Unknown to both of them, this was the launch of a successful acting career for McClain. She was only 7.

Even before her first film role, China was part of a girl group made up of her sisters Sierra, Lauryn and herself. The group was initially called 3McClain girls and McClain Sisters. Today, it is simply McClain. It was formed in 2004.


China Anne’s Career

“Tyler Perry’s House of Payne”

China Anne McClain’s role in “The Gospel” (2005) caught Tyler Perry’s attention. She played Jazmine Payne in “Tyler Perry’s House of Payne”, a sitcom TV series. It premiered in 2006. It aired more episodes than any other
TV series.



In 2007 China took a role in “Daddy’s Little Girls”. Her sisters played her older sisters in the film. She also guest starred in “Hannah Montana” and “NCIS”.

In 2009, she was part of the cast in “Hurricane Season”.

She played Charlotte McKenzie in “Grown Ups” (2010). China was also part of “Jonas”, a Disney Channel show.

In 2011, she appeared on “Wizards of Waverly Place” (2011).


“A.N.T. Farm” and China’s music

China took up the lead role in “A.N.T Farm”, a Disney Channel series. She recorded a cover of “Dynamite” by Taio Cruz for the series. She also sang “Exceptional”, the theme song in the series.

Her first ever video was “Dynamite”. It premiered in 2011 on Disney Channel. It performed exceptionally well, garnering over a million views on YouTube, in less than a week.

China appeared in an episode of “PrankStars”, and in “Opposite of Adults”, a video by Chiddy Bang. She performed “Calling all the Monsters” during Disney Channel’s Halloween Special, 2011. It was released on iTunes, and it made it to the Billboard Hot 100. “The A.N.T Farm” soundtrack was released in 2011. It featured China’s “Dynamite”. She performed “Unstoppable” at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade.

China co-starred in “Grown Ups 2” in 2013. McClain, the sister group, had signed with Hollywood Records, a record label of Disney Music Group in 2011. They left the record label in 2013. After “A.N.T farm” ended, China focused on doing music with McClain. China appeared on “Sing Your Face Off TV”, a show on ABC. She won the first season.


2015 onwards

China Anne McClain featured in an episode of “Bones”, a FOX series, as Kathryn Walling. She appeared in “Veggie Tales in the House”, a computer-animated series by Netflix, where she took the voice role of Jenna Chive, who was, in fact, China’s parody. She also starred in “Descendants: Wicked World”, another computer animated series. It is based on “Descendants”, a Disney Channel movie.

China voiced Freddie, the antagonist in “The Princess and the Frog”. She recorded “Brother’s Blood”, an action thriller film. She stars alongside Ron Killings and Trey Songz. It is set to be released this summer. China is part of the cast of “Bilal”, a 3D computer-animated film. China and her sister Lauryn have a web series named after them.



As a band, the girls have produced singles like:

“Silly Games” (featuring Tiff Mic)

“Rise”, and “Go” (2012)

“He Loves Me” (2013)

“The Holiday Song” (Christmas 2014)

“Feelin Like” (2016)

They are currently working on their first album!

China Anne’s Inspiration

Apart from Beyonce, who else inspires her?

China draws a lot of inspiration from her parents. They are her biggest inspiration. Other people who influence her are Rihanna, Michael Jackson, Adele and Hattie McDaniel.


What are the other film roles that she has taken?

Tamara in “Madea’s Family Reunion” (2006)

Margaret in “A Dennis the Menace Christmas” (2007)

Neighbor #8 in “Six Blocks Wide”

Voice role as Lyra in “Sheep and Wolves” (2016; post-producing)

Uma in “Descendants 2” (2017)


What about TV appearances?

Natasha Obama in “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” (2008)

Janet in “Jack and Janet Save the Planet” (2009)

Sam Covington in “R.L. Stine’s The Haunting Hour: The Series” (2014)

Gabby Harrison in “How to Build a Better Boy” (2014) – which was actually based on her best friend’s story. She likes a certain guy, but he only uses her to cheat off her math homework.


China Anne’s Awards

China McCain has achieved a lot in her young life. This is undoubtedly no mean feat. Why not look at some of the awards that she has won?

2011 – A NAMIC vision award for best performance – actress of Comedy (in “Tyler Perry’s House of Payne”)

2014 – A NAMIC vision award for best performance – actress of comedy (in “A.N.T Farm”)

2014 – A NAACP image award for outstanding performance in a youth/children’s program (in “A.N.T Farm”)

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