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China Anne McClain

China Anne McClain (born August 25, 1998)[2] is an American actress and singer. She is a member of the sister girl group McClain. McClain's career began in 2005 when she was seven years old, acting in the film The Gospel (2005). She also played China James in Tyler Perry's Daddy's Little Girls (2007), along with Idris Elba and her two sisters. However, she became nationally known after 2007, when she joined the cast of the series Tyler Perry's House of Payne as Jazmine Payne. In 2010, she co-starred in Grown Ups (2010) as Charlotte McKenzie. McClain became internationally known after starring in the Disney Channel original television series A.N.T. Farm, landing the role as Chyna Parks, from 2011 to 2014. Disney released the soundtrack of the television series A.N.T. Farm on October 11, 2011.

China Anne McClain
Nafessa Williams, Cress Williams & China Anne McClain (36403227702) (cropped).jpg
McClain in 2017
Born (1998-08-25) August 25, 1998 (age 21)
ResidenceLos Angeles, California, U.S.
  • Actress
  • singer
Years active2005–present
Musical career
  • Vocals
  • guitar[1]
Associated actsMcClain

McClain sings six songs and two solos with her sisters on the soundtrack, which debuted in the Billboard 200 at number 29 with 14,000 copies sold in its first week. On the soundtrack, McClain sang her version of Taio Cruz's "Dynamite." The release containing the song "Calling All the Monsters" reached the eighty-sixth spot on the Billboard Hot 100. McClain was a co-star in the 2013 sequel Grown Ups 2. In 2014, she appeared on the reality singing competition series, ABC's Sing Your Face Off and was the youngest contestant on the show, winning the show's only season. McClain starred as Gabby Harrison in the Disney Channel original movie How to Build a Better Boy (2014) with Kelli Berglund. She also appears as the main villain Uma in the Disney Channel Original movie Descendants 2 (2017), playing Ursula's daughter and continued playing the role in Descendants 3.

In 2018, McClain began portraying Jennifer Pierce in The CW superhero series Black Lightning. She also returned to her character (Jazmine Payne), as a recurring cast member in OWN's Tyler Perry’s The Paynes.

Personal lifeEdit

McClain was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia. Her father, Michael McClain, is a music producer.[3] Her mother, Shontell, is a songwriter.[4] She currently resides in Los Angeles, California with her family.[5] McClain has said that she and her family are devout Christians, although they cannot always attend church regularly due to her and her sisters' musical and acting careers.[6]


2005–11: Tyler Perry's House of PayneEdit

McClain performing at Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade 2011.

McClain was discovered in 2005 by a music executive who heard her sing and encouraged director Rob Hardy to audition her for his 2005 feature film The Gospel.[2] Her role caught the attention of Tyler Perry, who cast her as Jazmine Payne in the television series Tyler Perry's House of Payne.[3] She appears in the movie Daddy's Little Girls with her sisters, Sierra and Lauryn, who are also actresses and play her older sisters in the film.[3] McClain appeared in and guest starred in various other shows and movies such as Hannah Montana with Sierra McCormick, NCIS[7] and the 2009 film Hurricane Season.[8] Jonas, was also a Disney Channel shows she was on. She also appeared in the movie Grown Ups, as Charlotte McKenzie.[3] McClain appeared on the Disney Channel series Wizards of Waverly Place in 2011 as Tina in one episode entitled "Wizards vs. Angels".

2011–14: A.N.T. Farm and musicEdit

In 2011, McClain was cast as the lead role in the Disney Channel series A.N.T. Farm. For the show, McClain recorded a cover of Taio Cruz's "Dynamite".[9] She also sings the series theme song, "Exceptional". China Anne's first music video, for "Dynamite", premiered on July 23, 2011 on Disney Channel. After less than a week, more than 1 million views on YouTube were reported. She has appeared in an episode of PrankStars.[10] She also appeared in the Chiddy Bang Opposite of Adults music video. For the Disney Channel Halloween special in 2011, she performed the song, "Calling All The Monsters".[11] On June 14, 2011, China and her sisters – known as the McClain Sisters – signed with Hollywood Records.[12] The A.N.T. Farm soundtrack was released on October 11, 2011, featuring China Anne's version of "Dynamite" by Taio Cruz. On September 28, 2011, China Anne released "Calling All The Monsters" to iTunes. "Calling All The Monsters" charted number 100 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.[13] On November 24, 2011, China performed her song "Unstoppable" in the 85th Macy's Thanksgiving Parade.[14]

She co-starred in the 2013 sequel Grown Ups 2. On December 27, 2013, it was announced on her Twitter page that A.N.T. Farm would be ending after its 3rd season.[15] On the same day, it was revealed that the McClain Sisters had left Hollywood Records. In the March/April 2014 issue of BYOU Magazine, China said it was "bittersweet" that A.N.T Farm was ending, and announced plans to focus on doing music with her sisters.[16] McClain appeared on ABC's Sing Your Face Off television show, broadcast from May 31 – June 14, 2014, winning the show's first season.

2015–present: Films and Black LightningEdit

In 2015, McClain was featured in the FOX series Bones in the episode "The Lost in the Found", playing Kathryn Walling.[17] She also appeared in the Netflix computer-animated series VeggieTales in the House, voiced the role Jenna Chive, a parody of herself.[18] As a part of the various artist who contributed to the Descendants album McClain performed the song "Night is Young", the song was featured in the film and was also on the Descendants album. McClain also starred in the computer-animated series Descendants: Wicked World, based on the Disney Channel Original Movie Descendants.[19] She voiced Freddie, the daughter of Dr. Facilier. She played the villain Uma, the daughter of Ursula, in Descendants 2 .[20][21] She reprised the role in the third movie Descendants 3. In 2016, she recorded the action thriller film Blood Brother, co-starring with Trey Songz and Ron Killings.[22] The film will be released in the summer.[23] She was also part of the cast of 3D computer-animated action-drama film Bilal.[24]

In 2017, it was announced that she had been cast as Jennifer Pierce in the Black Lightning pilot for the CW.[25] In July 2019, it was announced McClain had joined the cast of Hubie Halloween.[26]


China Anne McClain cites her parents, Michael and Shontell, as her biggest influences, as well as Michael Jackson, Hattie McDaniel, Rihanna, and Beyoncé.[27]



Year Title Role Notes
2005 The Gospel Alexis
2006 Madea's Family Reunion Tamara
2007 A Dennis the Menace Christmas Margaret
2007 Daddy's Little Girls China James
2008 Six Blocks Wide Neighbour #8 Short film
2010 Hurricane Season Alana Collins
2010 Grown Ups Charlotte McKenzie
2013 Grown Ups 2 Charlotte McKenzie
2016 Barbershop: The Next Cut Serena
2016 Bilal: A New Breed of Hero Ghufaira Voice role
2016 Sheep and Wolves Lyra Voice role (English version)[28]
2017 Ten: Murder Island Meg
2018 Blood Brother Darcy
TBA Hubie Halloween TBA Post-production


Year Title Role Notes
2007–2012 Tyler Perry's House of Payne Jazmine Payne Main role (seasons 14, 68)
2008 Jimmy Kimmel Live! Natasha Obama Episode: "6.165" (sketch: Barack Obama Live!)
2009 Hannah Montana Isabel Episode: "Welcome to the Bungle"
2009 NCIS Kayla Vance Episode: "Knockout"
2009 Jack and Janet Save the Planet Janet Voice role; television film
2010 Jonas Kiara Tyshana Recurring role (season 2)
2011 Wizards of Waverly Place Tina Episodes: "Dancing with Angels", "Wizards vs Angels"
2011–2014 A.N.T. Farm Chyna Parks Main role
2011 PrankStars Herself Episode: "Game Showed Up"
2012 Doc McStuffins Tisha McStuffins Episode: "Chilly Gets Chilly/Through the Reading Glasses"
2014 Sing Your Face Off Herself Contestant
2014 R. L. Stine's The Haunting Hour Sam Covington Episode: "Argh V"
2014 How to Build a Better Boy Gabby Harrison Television film
2015 Bones Kathryn Walling Episode: "The Lost in the Found"
2015 VeggieTales in the House Jenna Chive Voice role; episode: "Jenna Chive Live"
2015–2016 Descendants: Wicked World Freddie Main voice role (season 1)
2016 The Night Shift Lauren Episode: "Unexpected"
2017 K.C. Undercover Sheena Episodes: "Coopers on the Run", "Welcome to the Jungle"
2017 Descendants 2 Uma Television film
2018–present Tyler Perry's The Paynes Jazmine Payne Recurring role
2018–present Black Lightning Jennifer Pierce Main role[29]
2018 Under the Sea: A Descendants Short Story Uma Short television film[30]
2019 Descendants 3 Uma Television film


Awards and nominationsEdit

Year Award Category Work Result Ref.
2011 NAMIC Vision Awards Best Performance – Actress of Comedy Tyler Perry's House of Payne Won
Teen Icon Awards Icon To Tomorrow Herself Nominated
2012 NAACP Image Awards Outstanding Performance in a Youth/ Children's Program – (Series or Special) A.N.T. Farm Nominated
2013 NAACP Image Awards Outstanding Performance in a Youth/ Children's Program – (Series or Special) A.N.T. Farm Nominated
2014 NAMIC Vision Awards Best Performance – Actress of Comedy A.N.T. Farm Won
NAACP Image Awards Outstanding Performance in a Youth/ Children's Program – (Series or Special) A.N.T. Farm Won [31]


  1. ^ "Disney's A.N.T. Farm China Anne McClain interview!". NG Kids. 2011. Archived from the original on February 19, 2013. Retrieved May 21, 2013.
  2. ^ a b "Disney Channel Bio – China Anne McClain". Disney Channel Medianet. Archived from the original on November 28, 2011.
  3. ^ a b c d "China Anne McClain Bio". Retrieved September 26, 2012.
  4. ^ Barnes, Brooks (May 10, 2011). "Tween Stars Wanted: Must Be Primed for Pressure". Retrieved August 13, 2013.
  5. ^ "Biography of China". Archived from the original on November 25, 2012. Retrieved September 26, 2012.
  6. ^ "China Anne McClain's Religion and Political Views". Retrieved October 21, 2016.
  7. ^ Mitovich, Matt (February 24, 2009). "NCIS Dips into Murder Club to Find Vance's Wife". TV Guide. Retrieved September 26, 2012.
  8. ^ "China Anne McClain". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved September 26, 2012.
  9. ^ "China Anne McClain – Dynamite (from A.N.T. Farm)". youtube. Retrieved September 26, 2012.
  10. ^ Ross, Robyn (August 5, 2011). "First Look: China Anne McClain Gets Her Game On for PrankStars". TV Guide. Retrieved September 26, 2012.
  11. ^ "China Anne McClain – Calling All The Monsters Music Video – A.N.T. Farm – Disney Channel Official". youtube. Retrieved September 26, 2012.
  12. ^ "Ps. check out our new signee @RealChinaAnne --- she's a super doll!". Hollywood Records. June 14, 2011.
  13. ^ "Adele Reclaims Hot 100 Throne, B.o.B Blasts into Top 10". billboard. October 5, 2011. Retrieved September 26, 2012.
  14. ^ An, Vickie (November 23, 2011). "Pop Parade". Time for Kids. Retrieved September 26, 2012.
  15. ^ "China Anne McClain on Twitter". Twitter.
  16. ^ "China Anne McClain's BYOU Magazine Celebrity Page". BYOU "Be Your Own You" Magazine.
  17. ^ Kondolojy, Amanda (May 8, 2015). "Thursday Final Ratings: 'The Big Bang Theory' Adjusted Up; 'Grey's Anatomy' Adjusted Down". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved May 8, 2015.
  18. ^ "Secret DIY Origins of 'VeggieTales' Success". Yahoo. Retrieved January 26, 2015.
  19. ^ "Wicked World". Disney Channel. Retrieved October 4, 2015.[permanent dead link]
  20. ^ "Descendants: Wicked World: Episode Guide". Zap2it. Retrieved October 9, 2015.
  21. ^ Swift, Andy; Swift, Andy (June 10, 2016). "Descendants 2 Premiering in 2017; China Anne McClain Cast as Ursula 2.0". TVLine. Retrieved July 27, 2016.
  22. ^ Hipes, Patrick (December 3, 2015). "WWE Studios & Lionsgate's Codeblack Films Unveil Co-Production Deal; First Pic Is Trey Songz-Starring 'Brother's Blood'". Deadline. Retrieved January 25, 2016.
  23. ^ "WWE's 'Brother's Blood' Movie is Now Hiring Stand-ins in New Orleans". Project Casting. Retrieved January 25, 2016.
  24. ^ "New Animated Feature 'Bilal' Inspired By The Story Of Ethiopian Slave Who Became 'Voice Of Islam'". Okayafrica. Retrieved September 29, 2015.
  25. ^
  26. ^ N'Duka, Amanda (July 22, 2019). "Adam Sandler Sets Next Netflix Comedy With All-Star Cast Including Kevin James, Julie Bowen, Maya Rudolph & Many More". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved July 22, 2019.
  27. ^ "Teen star China Anne McClain's_African-American influencers". The Root. 2012. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved February 1, 2012.
  28. ^ "About Movie".
  29. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (March 2, 2017). "'Black Lightning' CW Pilot: Nafessa Williams, China Anne McClain Cast". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved May 10, 2017.
  30. ^ Petski, Denise (August 10, 2018). "'Descendants' Short-Form Special 'Under The Sea' Set On Disney Channel".
  31. ^ Couch, Aaron (February 22, 2014). "NAACP Image Awards: The Winners". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved March 20, 2014.

External linksEdit