A look back at 9 stars of color who have achieved legendary EGOT status, from Rita Moreno to James Earl Jones
Viola Davis became the ninth EGOT winner of color at the 2023 Grammys.
Whoopi Goldberg, John Legend, and Jennifer Hudson are also among the coveted list of EGOT recipients.
Three other Black entertainers, including Quincy Jones, received EGOT status in non-competitive awards.
In 1977, Puerto Rican actress, dancer, and singer Rita Moreno became the third person and first Latin American to achieve EGOT status.
EGOT, an acronym for the Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony Awards, is considered the most coveted achievement for entertainers. As of 2023, 18 people have accomplished this feat. Five other people have also received all four major awards, although at least one of their awards have been received in an honorary or other non-competitive category.
Moreno won an Oscar in 1961 for her role as Anita in "West Side Story." She won a Grammy for a recording for the children's education TV show "The Electric Company" in 1972, and, in 1975, won a Tony for her acting role in "The Ritz." In 1977, Moreno won an Emmy for outstanding performance in 'The Muppet Show," and nabbed another Emmy for her lead role in an episode of "The Rockford Files" in 1978.
It wasn't for another 25 years until another person of color was crowned with EGOT status, when Whoopi Goldberg received both an Emmy and a Tony award in 2002. Goldberg won the Emmy for her role as a host in "Beyond Tara: The Extraordinary Life of Hattie McDaniel," which profiled the "Gone with the Wind" actress who became the first Black Oscar winner.
Goldberg snagged her first EGOT award in 1990, when she received an Oscar for her role in "Ghost." The actress, comedian, and TV personality won a Grammy for best comedy album in 1986, and won a second Emmy award in 2009 for outstanding talk show host in "The View."
Filipino American songwriter Robert Lopez became the 12th person, and first Asian American, to achieve EGOT status in 2013. Then 39 years old, Lopez was also the youngest EGOT winner, as well as the fastest to achieve the feat, within 10 years. He is also the only person to win multiple EGOTs.
Lopez has won 12 EGOT awards for composing songs in various hit films, TV, and Broadway shows, including "Let It Go" from "Frozen," "Remember Me" from "Coco," and 'The Book of Mormon."
John Legend became the 15th EGOT winner and first Black American man to achieve the status in 2018.
Legend won his first Grammy in 2006 for the Best New Artist category, and continued to win 11 more Grammys. The singer and songwriter also won an Oscar for his song "Glory" in the movie "Selma," which chronicles the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., in 2015.
In 2022, Jennifer Hudson became the second Black woman to achieve EGOT status.
The singer and actress won an Oscar for best supporting actress in "Dreamgirls," which also starred Beyoncé, in 2006. In 2022, she won a Tony for "A Strange Loop," making her the youngest female EGOT winner in history.
Viola Davis won a Grammy award for her "Finding Me" audiobook in February 2023, joining an elite group of 17 other entertainers who have achieved EGOT status.
Davis is the third Black woman to reach this coveted status.
The actress was one of the many Black performers celebrated at this year's Grammys, alongside Beyoncé, Questlove, and Dr. Dre.
In 2001 and 2010, Davis won Tony awards for her roles in the plays "King Hedley II" and "Fences," and later won an Oscar for the movie adaptation of "Fences" in 2016. She also won an Emmy for her lead role in "How to Get Away with Murder" in 2015.
James Earl Jones
In addition to the six EGOT winners, five other artists also received all four major awards, though at least one of them were honorary or non-competitive awards. Three of the five are Black, including actor James Earl Jones.
Jones, widely regarded as one of the greatest actors in American history, has starred in a bevy of productions on screen and on stage, including "Dr. Strangelove," "The Lion King," and the voice of Darth Vader in "Star Wars."
Jones won Tony awards for his lead roles in "The Great White Hope" and "Fences" in 1969 and 1987, respectively, and was also crowned a special Tony award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theater in 2017. He was awarded an Academy Honorary Award at the 2011 Oscars, a non-competitive award that made him an EGOT winner.
One of the most successful Jamaican American pop stars, Harry Belafonte popularized the Trinbagonian Caribbean musical style in the 1950s.
Belafonte won Grammys for best folk performance twice in 1961 and 1966, and received the Grammy Hall of Fame Award in 2000. He also became the first Black performer to win an Emmy award in 1960.
In 2014, Belafonte was honored with the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award for his activism work, including organizing the multi-artist "We Are the World" song to help raise funds for Africa, as well as for his political activism work to end apartheid in South Africa.
Musician and producer Quincy Jones has the highest number of awards of any EGOT winner, with 28 Grammy Awards won between 1964 and 2019.
Jones was the mastermind producer behind albums like Michael Jackson's "Thriller" and "Beat It," and also recorded his own jazz music, including songs like "Birdland." He won an Emmy for composing the music in the TV show "Roots," which follows the family of an enslaved Black man in America, in 1977, and won a Tony for composing a song on "The Color Purple" in 2016.
In 1994, Jones also received a Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award at the Oscars for his social activism. He was a supporter of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and is one of the founders of the Institute for Black American Music, which aims to raise funds for a national library of African American art and music.
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