Three more people just joined the exclusive EGOT club. John Legend, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, producers of NBC’s production of “Jesus Christ Superstar,” won for Best Variety Special (Live) Sunday at the Creative Arts Emmys in downtown Los Angeles.
Only 12 entertainers in Hollywood history had won EGOT prior to Sunday: the showbiz grand slam of Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony Awards. Adding three additional to an already small group is a very big deal. The dozen already achieving EGOT are (in chronological order of achievement): composer Richard Rodgers, actress Helen Hayes, actress Rita Moreno, actor John Gielgud, actress Audrey Hepburn, composer Marvin Hamlisch, orchestrator Jonathan Tunick, writer/director/composer Mel Brooks, director Mike Nichols, actress Whoopi Goldberg, producer Scott Rudin, and composer Robert Lopez.
“Superstar” has a total of 13 nominations this year, several of them in categories at the Primetime Emmys on Monday, September 17. That includes Legend for Best Movie/Mini Actor, Brandon Victor Dixon for Best Movie/Mini Supporting Actor and Sara Bareilles for Best Movie/Mini Supporting Actress.
Legend has won all four awards with lightning speed (within just 12 years). He won the first of his 10 Grammys in 2006, when he was named Best New Artist in addition to two other prizes that year. He had to wait almost a decade before adding an Oscar to his tally: Best Original Song for “Glory” from “Selma” (2014). Most recently he won a Tony Award as a producer: Best Play Revival for “Jitney” (2017).
Webber and Rice have been waiting a lot longer for EGOT. Webber won his first awards more than three decades ago. First came Tony in 1980 for his original score for “Evita” (shared with Rice), and that show alone would get him three-quarters of the way there. He then won a Grammy in 1981 for the “Evita” cast recording, and when the show was adapted into a 1996 film starring Madonna he and Rice shared the Oscar for Best Original Song for penning the new tune “You Must Love Me.”
That was Webber’s only Oscar to date, but in all he has won seven Tonys and three Grammys while still awaiting his shot at an Emmy, an award he is now nominated for the first time for.
For Rice the journey also began with “Evita.” Not only did he share the Tony for Best Original Score with Webber, he won Best Book of a Musical too. Then he shared the Grammy for the cast recording. But he actually beat Webber to the Oscar by four years. Rice won Best Original Song at the Academy Awards with Alan Menken for “A Whole New World” from “Aladdin” (1992). And then he claimed that award again with Elton John for “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” from “The Lion King” (1994) before he and Webber prevailed for “You Must Love Me.”
In all, Rice has won multiple times at each event: three times at the Tonys, three times at the Oscars and five times at the Grammys. But like Webber, this is his first Emmy nomination.
In prevailing for the Variety Special category, “Jesus Christ Superstar” defeated “60th Annual Grammy Awards,” “Night of Too Many Stars: America Unites for Autism Programs,” “75th Annual Golden Globe Awards” and “The Oscars.