Viola Davis could become 13th EGOT winner thanks to ‘Corduroy Bear’

Oscar, Emmy and Tony winner Viola Davis has announced she is writing a children’s book called “Corduroy Takes a Bow,” the latest in a series that centers on the titular bear. This will be Davis’ first book, with a release planned for September. One would assume that a star as big as Davis would also be asked to record the audiobook version, and if so, her commanding voice could carry her to her first-ever Grammy nomination and win. This would make Davis the 13th person in history to go full EGOT, winning the grand slam of Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony.

You can preorder the audiobook now on the Penguin Random House publisher website, and while there is no announced release date for that version, it will fall within the window of eligibility for next year’s Grammys if released in September. She would presumably be eligible for the Best Spoken Word Album category, where all kinds of notable figures have won, from politicians like Barack Obama, Jimmy Carter and Hillary Clinton to performers like Joan Rivers, Carol Burnett and Carrie Fisher. In fact, most of the non-musical EGOT winners have won their Grammy either in this category or in the similarly spoken-word comedy album category, like Helen Hayes and John Gielgud.

Davis just won her first Oscar last year for “Fences,” after winning an Emmy for “How to Get Away with Murder” in 2015 and two Tonys, for “King Hedley II” in 2001 and the stage show of “Fences” in 2010. She is the first black actor or actress to earn the Triple Crown of Acting, which includes winning an Oscar, Emmy and Tony specifically in the acting categories.

Should Davis win a Grammy she would be following in the footsteps of Whoopi Goldberg, the only black performer to achieve the EGOT — though not all for acting. Technically, James Earl Jones, Harry Belafonte and Quincy Jones have won all four awards as well, but all of their Oscars were special or honorary, (a.k.a. non-competitive) and thus are not counted as going full EGOT.

Last year Davis spoke about potentially becoming an EGOT winner, stating, “I don’t sing, I mean I really don’t sing,” though she did indicate she knew exactly which category she could win in: “Well, maybe I’ll do a spoken word thing with Kanye West or something like that!” No word on whether West will appear alongside her on the “Corduroy” book, but Davis may have just the ticket to become our latest EGOT winner.

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