As award season approaches, we want to recognize all the talented Black actresses and actors who have reached or are close to reaching EGOT status. EGOT refers to Hollywood’s four biggest awards: the Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony Awards. EGOT status is considered one of the highest honors a performer can achieve and only 17 people have reached it, only six of whom are Black.
Here are 6 Black Celebrities Who’ve Reached EGOT Status and 4 Who Are On Their Way!
1. Whoopi Goldberg: EGOT Winner
Whoopi Goldberg became the first Black EGOT recipient in 2002, winning both a Tony and an Emmy that same year. She took home the Best Musical Tony Award for her role as a producer on Thoroughly Modern Millie and won an Emmy for Outstanding Special Class Special for Beyond Tara: The Extraordinary Life of Hattie McDaniel. In 1895, Goldberg achieved her first major win—a Grammy for Best Comedy Recording for Whoopi Goldberg: Original Broadway Show Recording. In 1990, she won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for Ghost.
2. John Legend: EGOT Winner
The singer-songwriter sealed the deal for EGOT status in 2018 when he took home the Emmy for Outstanding Variety Special for Jesus Christ Superstar. Legend is a 12-time Grammy winner, winning his first Grammy in 2005 for Best New Artist, Best R&B Album, and Best R&B Vocal. In 2015, he won an Oscar for Best Original Song, for the anthem “Glory,” written for Selma. In 2017, he won a Tony for serving as producer of Best Play Revival August Wilson’s Jitney.
3. Jennifer Hudson: EGOT Winner
Jennifer Hudson is the most recent performer to join the EGOT status club. She earned the rare title after the musical A Strange Loop, on which she worked as a producer, won a Tony in June. Hudson also received a Daytime Emmy for serving as an executive producer on Baby Yaga which won Outstanding Interactive Media for a Daytime Program, and an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in Dreamgirls. She has won two Grammy awards—one for Best R&B Album and another for Best Musical Theater Album for The Color Purple.
4. James Earl Jones: Unofficial EGOT Winner
The legendary actor is an unofficial EGOT winner, in that one of the awards was given in an honorary or non-competitive fashion. Jones secured EGOT status after winning an Honorary Academy Award in 2011. He won a Tony in 1969 for Best Leading Actor in a Play for The Great White Hope. In 1977, he won a Grammy for Best Spoken Word Recording for Great American Documents. In 1991, he won an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series for Gabriel’s Fire and Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or Movie for Heat Wave.
5. Harry Belafonte: Unofficial EGOT Winner
Harry Belafonte became an unofficial EGOT winner after winning the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award at the Oscars in 2014. In 1954, Belafonte won a Tony for Best Featured Actor in a Musical for John Murray Anderson’s Almanac. In 1960, he won a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Individual Performance in a Variety or Music Program for Tonight with Belafonte – The Revlon Revue. The next year, he won the Grammy for Best Folk Performance for Swing Dat Hammer.
6. Quincy Jones: Unofficial EGOT Winner
The music legend is another unofficial EGOT winner as of 2016 when he took home the Tony for Best Revival of a Musical for The Color Purple. In 1994, Jones was honored with the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award at the Oscars. He has 28 Grammys under his belt and added a Primetime Emmy to his collection in 1977 for Outstanding Music Composition for a Series for Roots.
7. Viola Davis: One Award Away
Viola Davis is just one Grammy short of EGOT status. However, this could be the year she completes the quartet of awards with her Grammy nomination in the category of Best Audio Book, Narration, and Storytelling Recording, for narrating her recent memoir Finding Me. In 2001, she won a Tony in for Best Featured Actress in a Play for King Hedley II. She made history in 2015 as the first Black woman to win an Emmy for Best Actress in a Drama. In 2017, she took home an Oscar for her performance in Fences.
8. Common: One Award Away
Rapper and actor, Common is just one Tony award away from achieving EGOT status. He has three Grammys and won the Oscar alongside John Legend for the song “Glory” from Selma in 2015. Two years later, he won a Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics for “Letter To The Free” from 13th.
9. Cynthia Erivo: One Award Away
Cynthia Erivo is on the fast track to EGOT status, having snagged a Tony, a Grammy, and a Daytime Emmy in less than a year, all for her role as Celie Harris Johnson in The Color Purple. Now all she need’s is an Oscar to enter EGOT territory.
10. Audra McDonald: One Award Away
Actress Audra McDonald is one Oscar shy of becoming an EGOT winner. She is a six-time Tony winner and won two Grammys in 2019 for her work on Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny in the Best Classical Album and Best Opera Recording categories. In 2015, she won a Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Special Class Program for Live From Lincoln Center.