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John Legend secures legendary status, becomes first black man to win an EGOT

Photo: JC Olivera / Stringer (Getty Images)

Who got it? ‘EGOT it! Last night’s Creative Arts Emmy Awards allowed three artists to hit the grand slam of the entertainment business: The esteemed and coveted EGOT. John Legend, Andrew Lloyd Webber, and lyricist Tim Rice each earned an Emmy for their part in the musical special Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert, earning each of them a place in the elite club of EGOT winners.

The term “EGOT” was coined by actor Philip Michael Thomas as a distinction of honor for someone who has won competitive recognition in each of the four major entertainment awards ceremonies: The Emmys (E), the Grammys (G), the Oscars (O), and the Tonys (T). Thomas himself so wanted to accomplish the feat that he wore the word on a gold chain around his neck. It’s a status that, prior to last night, only 12 artists had claimed—artists like Whoopi Goldberg, Rita Morena, Mel Brooks, Audrey Helburn, Mike Nichols, and Scott Rudin. And these latest wins round the list up to 15.


As you might recall, the term was popularized by Tracy Morgan’s character on 30 Rock in 2009, in an episode where he came across Thomas’s EGOT necklace in a jewelry store and exclaimed, “That’s a good goal for a talented crazy person!” He promptly bought the necklace and became hell-bent on winning an EGOT—which, in the fictional world of the show, would have made him the first black man to do so.

Now, John Legend has done it in real life. After winning an Oscar for Best Original Song in 2015 for Selma’s “Glory”, a Tony for Best Revival of a Play for Jitney last year, and a whopping 10 Grammys, Legend has hit the final checkmark (and, might we add, by doing no less than portraying Jesus Christ). All of that took only 12 years, starting with his first Grammy win in 2006, making him the second youngest and the second fastest to get his EGOT.

Legend is celebrating by displaying his Emmy on a shelf already overflowing with trophies (while wife/model/all-around wonderful human Chrissy Teigen teases him about his resemblance to Arthur the Aardvark) and by making “EGOT Pancakes.”


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