Only 12 entertainers in Hollywood history have won EGOT: the showbiz grand slam of Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony Awards. Now thanks to NBC’s live production of “Jesus Christ Superstar,” producers John Legend, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice could all join that list at the same time. In one category — Best Variety Special (Live) — the Emmys could give EGOT status to three for the price of one, making them the 13th, 14th, and 15th recipients in history. (Check out the complete list of nominations here.)
“Superstar” has a total of 13 nominations, including bids we weren’t expecting like Sara Bareilles for Best Movie/Mini Supporting Actress, Best Movie/Mini Directing and even Legend for Best Movie/Mini Actor, which gives him multiple chances to complete his EGOT.
If successful, Legend will have 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.
As executive producers of “Jesus Christ Superstar,” Webber, Rice and Legend would all EGOT if the show wins Best Variety Special (Live). That category was newly established in 2018 after the TV academy discontinued the award for Best Special Class Program, which was won by other musicals in recent years: “Sweeney Todd (Live from Lincoln Center)” in 2015 and “Grease Live” in 2016.
To win Variety Special, “Jesus Christ Superstar” will have to get past “60th Annual Grammy Awards,” “Night of Too Many Stars: America Unites for Autism Programs,” “75th Annual Golden Globe Awards” and “The Oscars. If the musical production does prevail, which of them is 13th, 14th and 15th on the all-time EGOT list will depend on which producer gets to the stage first after the envelope is opened.