Happy Birthday China Anne McClain
China Anne McClain (born August 25, 1998) is an American actress and singer. McClain’s career began when she was seven years old, portraying Alexis in the film The Gospel (2005), and then China James in Daddy’s Little Girls (2007). She then received recognition for starring as Jazmine Payne in the television series Tyler Perry’s House of Payne (2007–2012; 2020–present) and as Charlotte McKenzie in the film Grown Ups (2010); and became internationally known for starring as Chyna Parks in the Disney Channel television series A.N.T. Farm (2011–2014), and as Uma in the Disney Channel films Descendants 2 (2017) and Descendants 3 (2019). In 2018, McClain began starring in The CW superhero series Black Lightning (2018–2021) as Jennifer Pierce / Lightning. She also reprised her character Jazmine Payne on OWN’s revival of The Paynes (2018).
McClain began her musical career in 2005 as a member of the sister girl group the 3mcclaingirls with her sisters Sierra and Lauryn. Her first professional single was “Your Biggest Fan” with Nick Jonas on the soundtrack album Jonas L.A. (2010). In 2011, McClain signed with Hollywood Records both as a solo artist and with her sister girl group, known as the McClain Sisters. Her debut single as a solo artist was “Dynamite” which peaked at no. 2 on the US Kid Digital Songs, and her second single, “Calling All the Monsters”, peaked at no. 1 on the same chart and earned 25,000 downloads within its first week of release. The A.N.T. Farm soundtrack album spent five weeks on the Billboard Kids chart in 2011 and sold 14,000 copies in its first week of release. Billboard also named her the sixth best-selling artist for digital kids’ songs in 2012. In 2017, her single “What’s My Name” from Descendants 2 peaked on several Billboard charts, and was certified gold, with 500,000 units sold, on November 10 , 2017. In June 2020 her sister girl group changed their name to Thrii.
China Anne McClain was born on August 25, 1998 and raised in Decatur, Georgia. Her father, Michael McClain, is a music producer who produced a track on Solange Knowles’ debut album Solo Star (2002). Her mother, Shontell, is a songwriter and former screenwriter. She has two older sisters, Sierra and Lauryn, who are also actresses and singers, and has a younger brother, Gabriel.
2015–present: Descendants and Black Lightning
In 2015, McClain was featured in the FOX series Bones (2015) in the episode “The Lost in the Found”, playing Kathryn Walling. McClain to “Night is Young” on the soundtrack for the Disney Channel Original Movie Descendants. Her song also appeared in Descendants: Wicked World (2015). She voiced Freddie, the daughter of Dr. Facilier. Her sister, Lauryn McClain, voiced the character for season two. McClain voiced the role of Ghufaira in the 3D computer-animated action-drama film Bilal: A New Breed of Hero (2015). She went on to guest star on The Night Shift, and starred in a voice role as Lyra in the English version of the film Sheep and Wolves, both in 2016. On November 25, 2016, McClain performed her cover of the song “This Christmas” at the Disney Parks Presents: A Descendants Magical Holiday Celebration.
In April 2017, she was an award presenter at the 2017 Radio Disney Music Awards. In June, Variety named her one of the “10 TV Stars to Watch in 2017” for her role as Jennifer Pierce in her then upcoming 2018 television series Black Lightning. In July, Descendants 2 premiered, in which she played the villain Uma, the daughter of Ursula. Her single “What’s My Name” from the film peaked on several Billboard charts and was certified gold, with 500,000 units sold, on November 10, 2017. She also guest starred as Sheena on K.C. Undercover (2017), and starred as Meg in the Lifetime television film Ten: Murder Island (2017), which she also executive produced.
In 2014, Lauryn and China created a YouTube channel where they posted singing videos, challenges, tags, and Q&As. Sierra appeared in several of the channel’s videos. As of August 2020, the channel has approximately 701,000 subscribers and 29 million views. They have since renamed the channel Thrii.
As of 2011, she resided in Los Angeles. McClain cites her parents as her biggest influences