All three earned the honor by winning an Emmy for variety special for NBC’s “Jesus Christ Superstar, Live in Concert,” with Legend as producer and Lloyd Webber and Rice as the composer and lyricist of the original 1970 musical. They became just the 13th, 14th, and 15th people in history to have won an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony, and Legend made history as the first black man to do so. And at 39, he tied Robert Lopez as the youngest man to do so (Lopez earned the first of his two EGOTs in 2014).
This is the first time that more than two people have achieved an EGOT in a single calendar year. Benj Pasek and Justin Paul were also in the running for achieving an EGOT on Sunday, but lost their Emmy category for original song for the the TV version of “A Christmas Story.”
Legend, who is also nominated for his title performance in the limited series/TV movie lead actor category at the Primetime Emmys, has won 10 Grammy awards, one Oscar (in 2015 for original song) and one Tony (for revival, just last year).
Backstage after the win, Legend said, “When I got into the music business it was a dream of mine to win Grammys and have plenty of success as a musician and sell lots of records and tour around the world as a performer, but I never had a dream of winning an EGOT, I didn’t even know what that was at the time.”
He went on to credit his new achievement on “huge collaborative efforts,” thanking Ava DuVernay and Common for working together on writing the song for “Selma” and his team for his theater and musical success. He added, “Tonight, it’s about ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ and the reason we won tonight is because first of all, Andrew and Tim created some beautiful work, and we had the privilege of performing that on television.”
Lloyd Webber joked that he has spent “this afternoon thinking what could I possibly win for if I don’t win this, outstanding hairdresser? I was getting very worried but it’s fantastic.” He also gave credit to producer Craig Zadan, who died three weeks ago, for the project’s success.
Legend, Lloyd Webber and Rice join previous EGOT winners Lopez, Helen Hayes, Rita Moreno, John Gielgud, Audrey Hepburn, Whoopi Goldberg, Richard Rodgers, Marvin Hamlisch, Jonathan Tunick, Mike Nichols, Scott Rudin and Mel Brooks.