The rarity of an entertainer to win an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar, and a Tony award over the span of their career has now been accomplished by Jennifer Hudson. J Hud took home a Tony for producing the musical A Strange Loop on Sunday night (June 12), catapulting her into EGOT status.
In 2006, the American Idol alum took home her first-ever Oscar for her supporting role in Bill Condon’s rendition of the original musical Dreamgirls. She then went on to score two Grammy awards including Best Musical Theater Album for the Broadway revival of The Color Purple in 2017 and Best R&B Album in 2009 for Jennifer Hudson. Hudson also won an Emmy in 2021 for executive producing the virtual reality film Baba Yaga.
earned a total of 11 Tony nominations—the most for any Broadway show—and took home the awards for Best Musical and Best Book for a Musical. The Michael R. Jackson-written musical beat out its competition: Girl From the North Country, the popular musical MJ, Mr. Saturday Night, Paradise Square, and Six: The Musical. In the category for Best Book of A Musical, Jackson won, over Christina Anderson, Craig Lucas, and Larry Kirwan for (Paradise Square), Billy Crystal, Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel (Mr. Saturday Night), Conor McPherson (Girl From the North Country) and Lynn Nottage (MJ).
In an interview with NPR, Jackson described A Strange Loop as a “big Black and queer-a** American Broadway show.” He said, “It’s part of a tradition, but it’s also opening the door for new traditions. It’s a loop within a loop.” The Stephen Brackett-directed play is about a Black gay man attempting to write and create a musical about a Black gay man. With pressures from various avenues including his mother telling him to “write like a white person,” he also deals with the struggles of staying true to his own authentic voice.
Ahead of her Tony and Emmy wins, Hudson shared her good luck tradition with People. “I got a dog and named it Oscar, and then I won my Oscar. And then I got a dog and named it Grammy, and then I won my Grammy,” she said of her two Pomeranians. “So I think I should get some dogs and name them Emmy and Tony—and it’ll give me good luck, and I’ll win [They’re] like my good luck charms.”
The term “EGOT” is used for entertainers who have won an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar, and a Tony award throughout their careers. John Legend and Whoopi Goldberg achieved EGOT status in 2018 and 2002, respectively. Hudson, Legend, and Goldberg are currently amongst 17 entertainers in history-making Hudson the third Black entertainer to join the illustrious group.
A Strange Loop is still running on Broadway, for those who have yet to see the award-winning musical.