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GTA 5 voice actor Shawn Fonteno

• Shawn Fonteno is an American voice actor, recording artist, actor and DJ-rapper born in South Los Angeles, California in 1968.
• He is best known for voicing Franklin Clinton in the 2013 video game “Grand Theft Auto V” and participated in motion capture technology for the game.
• He was once a member of Kam&Solo, a rap group associated with Ice Cube’s Lench Mob Crew.
• Shawn is married and has two daughters.
• He enjoys customizing and riding Harley Davidson motorcycles and has a net worth of $1 million.

Known from movies

Early life, family, educational background

American voice actor, recording artist, actor and DJ rapper Shawn Darnell “Solo” Fonteno was born on April 8, 1968 in South Los Angeles, California, USA. He was raised by his father, Thomas Fonteno in Watts, Los Angeles – known as the home of mostly African American people in Los Angeles – and attended Locke High School. Shawn joined an African American gang until he was nearly fatally shot. The traumatic experience led him to leave the gang and change his life. While in the gang, Shawn stole cars, was a thief and sold drugs.

His life as a young gang member ultimately came in handy as Shawn is best known for voicing the somewhat infamous Franklin Clinton in the 2013 video game “Grand Theft Auto V”.


Shawn has been in several movies throughout his career. In 1996, he appeared in ‘Dead Homiez’, ‘3 Strikes’ in 2000, as Face in ‘The Wash’ in 2001 and as Bam in ‘Grow House’ in 2017.

He was once a member of Kam&Solo, a rap group associated with Ice Cube’s Lench Mob Crew.

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While Shawn is best known for voicing savvy street gangster Franklin Clinton in “Grand Theft Auto V,” which grossed more than $1 billion, Shawn’s voice was also heard in 2004’s “Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas” as an unnamed Grove Street Families member.

His 2013 performance was largely shot using motion capture technology.

DJ Pooh, Shawn’s friend and consultant for “GTA V,” asked him to be part of Rockstar’s latest video game. Pooh also wrote and co-produced “GTA: San Andreas”, but he is better known for playing Red in the movie “Friday”. Initially, Shawn helped look for actors to play Franklin and helped them with their auditions, but after a few weeks he decided to take the role himself. Once he got used to the tight-fitting outfits the actors had to use for the motion capture technology, Shawn quickly fell into character thanks to his past as a gangbanger and drug dealer.

When interviewed by USA Today, Shawn said, “I’ve lived his life before… He’s been surrounded by drugs, the crime, lived with his aunt — I lived with my grandmother, so there was a lot of familiarity.”

He also told Gamecrate about the benefits of acting in the video game during their interview with him. He thought to himself, “Wow, I can pretty much relive what I went through without getting hurt or going to jail, or being nothing at all.” Shawn added that not only has he been shot at, but guns have been fired, so he knows what it’s like on both ends of a gun.

In 2010, Shawn got together with Steven Ogg and Ned Luke, and the trio spent nearly three years voice acting and executing the motion capture for the game. They would record in voice over booths and “film” in a studio.

They initially found the unusual process challenging, as the motion capture suits were uncomfortable and the sets were often not fully built or fully functional. Shawn also felt a bit insecure about his acting skills as his last role was in the movie “The Wash” in 2001. Fortunately, his castmates were kind enough to help him out when he asked.

He further described the filming process in his interview with USA Today: “It’s just conditioning yourself to imagine what’s going on…close your eyes and imagine you’re playing in a real living room.” He said he hoped his performance in “GTA V” would lead to more roles in the future, and both Ned and Steven stated that acting in the game rekindled their love for the art.

Shawn Fonteno

Fortunately, all their hard work paid off, as the game made $1 billion in its first three days and the trio could barely speak in public without their voices being recognized. In 2014, the cast of “GTA V” was nominated for Best Vocal Ensemble in a Video Game at the Behind the Voice Actors Awards.

In 2020, Shawn posted a video on social media, begging GTA fans to be patient with the final release of Rockstar Games’ “Grand Theft Auto VI”. He explained that the process is very long and complicated, especially since it is supposedly going to be a multiplayer game. In the video, he asked them to “don’t take Rockstar down, man.”

He also said that “GTA V” has taken more than four years to develop – longer than most fans may have realized, “You have to understand that it’s a process to get these games out.” Although Rockstar has not yet officially announced “GTA VI”, “GTA V” launched in 2013, fans are eagerly awaiting the sequel.

Thanks to the excitement of the fans, there is a lot of online hype and conspiracies about “GTA VI”. Most of the game’s leaks suggest it’s set in Vice City – a location that hasn’t appeared in the franchise for nearly 20 years. Following Lazlow Jones’ announcement that he has left Rockstar, the future of his radio DJ persona is currently unknown.

In 2018, Rockstar launched what became another huge hit, “Red Dead Redemption 2”. They have not released another game since then and are yet to confirm release dates for upcoming games. However, there are several rumors that a sequel to “Red Dead Redemption” could be released in 2021 or 2022.

Rockstar is currently planning to release a next-gen version of “GTA Online” and “GTA V” as the games are still popular, so with these versions in the pipeline, a sequel probably isn’t production’s first priority . But with luck, Shawn’s explainer video was enough to appease the impatience of GTA fans as Rockstar works on the long and complicated task of completing the sequel.

In addition, Shawn’s video also hopefully convinced the fans that the Rockstar team is not milking “GTA”, but is actually listening to their requests and doing their best to bring it to fruition.

Private life

Shawn is married – her name is unknown and the wedding date is probably around 1990 – and the couple have one daughter together named Bria. His wife encouraged him to leave the gang and live a better life. He also has another daughter, Brittney, who is a baker – it is unknown if his wife is also Brittney’s mother. Shawn helps Brittney open her own bakery, and she has already baked and served for big names.

Exclusive: Shawn Fonteno, the voice and likeness of GTA V’s Franklin Clinton, talks to The Source…

Posted by Source magazine on Sunday, October 13, 2013

Shawn had a public business feud with Ice Cube and described the fight in “Beef 2”, a documentary. Shawn said he knocked out Ice Cube and stole his necklace after they had a business disagreement. The fight reportedly took place at a traffic light and Ice Cube was the one who started it. In the documentary, Shawn said that after knocking Ice Cube out, he woke him up again and “screamed up his ass.” He added with a grin, “Somehow his chain fell into my hand…then all of a sudden his Rolex started popping off and into my hand. I don’t know how that happened.’

The feud was huge news in the ’90s and was part of an even bigger feud between Ice Cube and Cypress Hill. Ice Cube allegedly stole a hook from one of Cypress Hill’s songs and turned it into a single of his own. At the time, Shawn (then better known as Solo) was good friends with Cypress Hill.

He later apologized for the feud in a YouTube video entitled “GTA V Shawn ‘Solo’ Fonteno Full Interview”, when his daughter, Bria, interviewed him on her channel, Fonteno Media. He also added that he would like to work with Ice Cube in the future.

Hobbies, favorite things and interesting facts about Shawn

  • In his spare time he enjoys customizing and riding Harley Davidson motorcycles.
  • He has a small dog, which he adores and loves very much.
  • He sells his own merchandise online.
  • His role models growing up were his grandfather, grandmother and uncles.
  • His cousin is American rapper Young Maylay, the voice actor of protagonist Carl ‘CJ’ Johnson in ‘Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas’.


Shawn is 1.83 m tall and weighs about 88 kg.

Wealth and salary

Shawn’s net worth is estimated to be $1 million, as of the end of 2020.

General information

First and last name Shawn Fonteno
Height 1.83 meters
Profession Actor


Movies Kweekhuis, The Wash, 3 strikes

Links to social profiles




Title Year Status Character
Grow house 2017 after-production Bam
Watchdogs 2014 Video game Lee Harvey (voice)
Grand Theft Auto V 2013 Video game Franklin Clinton (voice, as Shawn “Solo” Fonteno)
The Playboy morning show 2010 TV serials Franklin Clinton
Grand Theft Auto San Andreas 2004 Video game Grove Street Families Gang (voice, as solo)
The laundry 2001 Sight
3 strikes 2000 Big Mo


Title Year Status Character
Grand Theft Auto V 2013 Video game face in game – as Shawn ‘Solo’ Fonteno / motion capture performer – uncredited


Title Year Status Character
Beef II 2004 Video documentary Himself – Artist (as solo)


Nominated awards

Year Price Ceremony Presentation Movie
2014 Video Game Voice Acting BTVA Award Behind the Voice Actors Awards Best Vocal Ensemble in a Video Game Grand Theft Auto V (2013)

Source: IMDb, Wikipedia


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