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Tuesday, March 5, 2024

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He’s Got a Big EGOT: With Emmy Win, John Legend Is 1st Black Man to Secure Prestigious Achievement

Photo: Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez (Getty Images)

After accepting an Emmy Sunday night for his role as a producer on the live musical Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert, which won the Outstanding Variety Special (Live) award, John Legend became the first black man to collect an EGOT.

The EGOT—the entertainment industry’s triple (er, quadruple) crown—consists of an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony award. The first black entertainer to win an EGOT was Whoopi Goldberg, an honor she secured in 2002.

No Arthur fist here!

(Nerdy EGOT aside here: If you’re wondering why James Earl Jones, Harry Belafonte and Quincy Jones aren’t included in the the bevy of EGOT listings throughout the web, it’s because honorary achievements don’t technically count toward the EGOT. This means Barbara Streisand and Liza Minelli are also shut out of EGOT status as well.)

Legend is only the 15th entertainer in history to collect all four statues—but what may be most impressive is the speed in which he won them. The singer, composer and producer won his first Grammy (three of them, actually) in 2005, including Best New Artist. Meaning it took him just 13 years to win an Oscar, a Tony and an Emmy, each of which are considered lifetime achievements in their own right.


According to Billboard, Legend has amassed 10 Grammys thus far in his career. He won an Oscar in 2015 for the song “Glory,” which appeared on the soundtrack of the movie Selma (his co-writer Common is himself just a Tony away from EGOT status). And in 2017, Legend took a home a Tony as a co-producer of Jitney, which won for Best Revival of a Play.

Oh, and John Legend’s a whole 39 years old, to boot, also making him the youngest to accrue all that hardware.

Legend’s biggest fan, TV host and cookbook author Chrissy Teigen, commemorated his win with a photo of him alongside two other new EGOT winners—and co-producers for Jesus Christ Superstar—Andrew Lloyd Weber and Tim Rice.


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