Why John Legend’s EGOT Is Such a Big Deal

Singer John Legend made history in 2018 when he became the fifteenth person to become a member of a very exclusive circle of EGOT winners.

EGOT winners are those unique individuals who have won all four of the major awards in American entertainment – an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony award. It was big news for a number of reasons and moved Legend into the stratosphere of superstardom.

Past EGOT winners

The list of those in the EGOT circle includes some very well-known names, as well as some that might not ring a bell with many people today. Beginning with Richard Rodgers, the American playwright who became the first EGOT winner in 1962, the list includes such stars as Audrey Hepburn, Whoopi Goldberg, Mel Brooks, John Gielgud, Scott Rudin, Mike Nichols, Rita Moreno, and Tim Rice. 

Becoming an EGOT winner is often referred to as “the grand slam” of American show business, and is an incredible achievement by any standard. For the most part, EGOT winners are composers and lyricists, with a few actresses and directors on the list as well. There are six additional people who have received all four necessary awards, but with one being honorary or non-competitive (such as a lifetime achievement award), it doesn’t technically count towards EGOT status. That list includes Barbra Streisand, Harry Belafonte, Liza Minnelli, James Earl Jones, Alan Menken, and Quincy Jones. 

Is Legend the youngest EGOT winner?

John Legend becoming a member of the EGOT circle is big news on several fronts. First, Legend is the only African-American EGOT winner, a truly stunning achievement. He’s also the second youngest person to have scored the EGOT, right behind Robert Lopez, a composer who won his EGOT in 2014 at the age of 39. Legend is about seven months older than Lopez.

Legend’s list of awards is impressive. Over the course of his long career, he has won 10 Grammys. In 2015, he scored an Oscar for his song “Glory,” written for the award-winning film Selma. He received a Tony in 2017, as co-producer of a Broadway production. Then in 2018, he completed the needed awards to achieve EGOT status when he won an Emmy for his work on Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert, which he produced alongside fellow EGOT winner Tim Rice. 

How did John Legend celebrate his EGOT?

Legend is known to be a reserved, dignified man, but even so, he must have been overjoyed with his win. He celebrated by neatly arranging all his awards on a shelf in the home he shares with his wife, model Chrissy Teigen. Teigen gave fans a glimpse into the way Legend celebrated his historic win by sharing a video of her husband making pancakes on Twitter. Teigen frequently shares adorable peeks into their life via social media, and regularly trolls Legend by comparing his appearance to Arthur the Aardvark. In spite of her good-natured teasing, Legend and Teigen have been inseparable since 2007, when they met on the set of Legend’s music video. The two tied the knot in 2011 and have been a favorite celebrity couple ever since.

Legend isn’t resting on his laurels, even after his promotion to the EGOT circle in 2018. He stays busy with a number of projects and is currently appearing as a judge on the popular show The Voice. He also has a lot happening at home and shares two young children with Chrissy Teigen – daughter Luna Stephens and adorable baby Miles Theodore Stephens. Whether touring with his band or appearing in a popular TV show, John Legend’s talent is limitless, and he will likely remain a force in entertainment for years to come.