The Elusive and Exclusive EGOT Status

Kendall Claar

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(Photo: Jemal Countess/Getty; Scott Olson/Getty; Gabriel Olsen/FilmMagic; GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty – via PEOPLE.com)

Even though the 70th Primetime Emmy Awards aired on September 17th, the awards were already being handed out. The Television Academy started things off with the 70th Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards, which were held on September 8th and 9th. It was during this ceremony that three more people reached the elusive and exclusive EGOT status. John Legend, Andrew Lloyd Webber, and Tim Rice joined the likes of Marvin Hamlisch and Mike Nichols as the winners of all four major annual American entertainment awards.

The EGOT acronym stands for Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony, and was coined in 1984 by actor Philip Michael Thomas. When his role on the hit show Miami Vice brought him instant fame, he stated his own desire to win all four awards, and thus created the EGOT acronym. Since then, only 15 people have ever won all four awards, which brings us back to the achievements of this year’s three winners.

This has been an impressive year, considering that this is the very first year where three people have reached EGOT status, two people having completed their EGOT collection in both 1997 and 2001. With John Legend’s Emmy win for Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert, he became the first African American man to ever reach EGOT status, doing so in an impressive 12 years. Both Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice completed their EGOT collection in 38 years, with the addition of their respective Emmy win, also for Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert. The duo are best known for their musical collaborations, having co-written Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Jesus Christ Superstar, and Evita. Legend, Lloyd Webber, and Rice achieved their EGOTs simultaneously, during the 70th Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards, for their shared Emmy award for producing Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert.  

John Legend first started on the path to EGOT status, when he won three Grammys in 2006 for Best New Artist, Best R&B Album, and Best R&B Vocal Performance. To date, Legend has won a total of 10 Grammys, the most of any EGOT winner. In 2015 he won the Oscar for Best Original Song for the composition and performance of “Glory” from the movie Selma. He then went on to win the Tony Award for Best Revival of a Play for Jitney in 2017.

Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice are regular musical collaborators and thus can be considered EGOT partners, as they share the Tony for Best Original Score for the musical Evita and the Grammy for Best Cast Show Album, also for Evita. Rice, in 1993, went on to win the Oscar for Best Original Song for the lyrical composition of “A Whole New World” from the movie Aladdin. Lloyd Webber won the Oscar for Best Original Song, in 1997, for his composition of “You Must Love Me” from the film adaptation of Evita. This award also happens to be shared with Rice, as “You Must Love Me” was co-written by the both of them specifically for the screen adaptation.

It’s kind of surreal. It’s something I never even thought about when I started my career,” shared John Legend, after becoming an EGOT winner. His reaction is perfectly understandable for someone who has just joined such an elusive and exclusive club.

 

EGOT Fast Facts:

  • Richard Rogers (1962): The first EGOT winner
  • Helen Hayes (1977): The first women to reach EGOT status, and the longest to do so (45 years)
  • Rita Moreno (1977): The first winner of Hispanic descent
  • John Gielgud (1991): The oldest person (87 years) to achieve EGOT status
  • Audrey Hepburn (1994): The first person to become an EGOT winner posthumously. She is also one of the only two EGOT winners to not win multiple awards in any of the four award fields.
  • Jonathan Tunick (1997): The second person to reach EGOT status to not win multiple awards in any of the four award fields
  • Whoopi Goldberg (2002): The first African American winner
  • Scott Rudin (2012): The record holder for most awards won among those who have achieved EGOT status
  • Robert Lopez (2014): The first EGOT winner of Filipino and Asian descent, as well as the youngest person to do so (39 years). He is the fastest to reach this feat (10 years), and the only person to achieve multiple EGOTs. Lopez perhaps has the most impressive repertoire of all the EGOT winners.

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The Elusive and Exclusive EGOT Status