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How John Legend Became One of 18 EGOT Winners in History
The Voice Coach's talent is undeniable — as his Emmy, Grammys, Oscar, and Tony awards demonstrate.
He joined that very exclusive club in 2018 — only 18 people have achieved an EGOT to date, according to The Wrap — after winning his first Emmy for Outstanding Live Variety Special for Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert. He was just 39 at the time, making him one of the youngest people to become an EGOT winner, in addition to being the first Black man and the second fastest person to achieve it, according to the Washington Post.
After Legend's achievement, Voice Coach Jennifer Hudson earned her own EGOT in 2022 as one of the producers of the Tony-award winning musical A Strange Loop, having previously won an Oscar for her role in Dreamgirls, two Grammys, and an Emmy.
With Legend set to return to The Voice as a Coach for Season 25, look back on how he achieved his impressive EGOT status.
John Legend's 2006 Grammys
Legend's debut album, Get Lifted, netted him three Grammys in his inaugural appearance: Best New Artist, Best R&B Album, and Best Male R&B Vocal Performance for "Ordinary People," seen in the video above. In total, he was nominated eight times that year.
Of his three wins, he told American Songwriter in 2020, "It all comes down to the song. None of it would have happened had I not [had] a song that moved people. I’m always of the mind that content matters more than anything, still. The delivery and technology matter too. But the content is critical."
"There’s no substitute for great content," he added. "And songs will always matter. Songs are the core of what we do as musicians. They are the core of what identifies us.”
John Legend's 2007 Grammys
Legend returned to the Grammy stage for two more trophies in 2007. He won Best Male R&B Vocal Performance for his song "Heaven," seen in the video above, off his sophomore album Once Again. He also won Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group for his cover of Sly and the Family Stone's "A Family Affair," which he recorded with Joss Stone and Van Hunt.
John Legend's 2009 Grammy
Legend — alongside R&B legend Al Green — took home another Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group Grammy in 2009 for the duo's performance of "Stay With Me (By the Sea)," which appeared on Green's 2008 album Lay It All Down.
John Legend's 2011 Grammys
Legend and The Roots — currently the house band for The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon — took home three Grammys in 2011. They won Best R&B Album for their album Wake Up; Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance for their cover of the song "Hang on in There"; and Best R&B Song for "Shine," seen in the video above.
John Legend's 2014 Oscar
In 2015, Legend and rapper Common took home an Oscar for their song, "Glory," which was seen in the 2014 film Selma. The film, directed by Ava DuVernay, covers the series of 1964 civil rights marches in Alabama that began in Selma and ended in Montgomery, and highlights the role of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., among others. (Common also appeared in the movie as civil rights leader James Bevel.)
John Legend's 2016 Grammy
Legend and Common then took home a Best Song Written for Visual Media Grammy in 2016 for "Glory," which was released as a single in December 2014.
John Legend's 2017 Tony
Legend got one step closer to his EGOT when, as a co-producer of August Wilson's Jitney, he won a Tony award for Best Revival of a Play.
He talked to Billboard shortly before the show opened about his process for picking non-musical projects to back
"Enlighten, inspire and entertain: I feel like those are the things we look for in projects," he said. "Obviously, my day job continues to be music, but I feel like we want to put out art that makes the world more interesting and more beautiful, and we’ve been able to do that."
John Legend's 2018 Emmy — and his EGOT
For Easter 2018, Legend starred as the titular Jesus in a live performance of Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical Jesus Christ Superstar. The resulting NBC show, Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert, was nominated for 12 Emmys — including one for Legend, as Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie — and took home five, including Outstanding Variety Special. As one of the producers, Legend shared in the award and thus earned an EGOT that night as well as an Emmy.
He was actually one of three people to achieve an EGOT that night: Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, his fellow producers on the show, added Emmys to their previous Grammy, Oscar, and Tony wins that night as well.
“Before tonight, only 12 people had won an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony in competitive categories,” Legend posted on Instagram at the time. “Sirs Andrew Lloyd Webber, Tim Rice and I joined that group when we won an Emmy for our production of their legendary show Jesus Christ Superstar. So happy to be part of this team.”
John Legend's 2019 Emmy
Legend took home a Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Interactive Media for a Daytime Program 2019 for his role as executive producer of the animated short Crow: The Legend. (Legend also voiced the titular crow.)
John Legend's 2020 Grammy
DJ Khaled, Legend, and Nipsey Hussle were awarded the Best Rap/Sung Performance Grammy in 2020 for their 2019 song, "Higher," seen in the video above. Hussle, whose given name was Ermias Asghedom, was killed on March 31, 2019, shortly before Khaled released the song and the video, which were recorded before Hustle's death.
John Legend's 2021 Grammy
Legend most recently won the Best R&B Album Grammy for his 2020 album Bigger Love. It featured the singles "Conversations in the Dark" (see in the video above), "Actions," "Bigger Love," and "Wild" (featuring Gary Clark Jr.).