Viola Davis at Kimmel

Viola Davis Joins The 'EGOT' Train With Latest Grammy Win

Home / Smart News / Viola Davis Joins The 'EGOT' Train With Latest Grammy Win

By Afouda Bamidele on February 6, 2023 at 7:00 PM EST

Viola Davis makes history with new EGOT status!

The actress accomplished the feat on Sunday, February 5, when she landed a Grammy Award for her memoir, "Finding Me," in the Best Audio Book, Narration, and Storytelling Recording category.

Davis is not only the 18th celebrity to become EGOT certified but also the third Black woman to achieve the honor, after Jennifer Hudson and Whoopi Goldberg. While Hudson reached her EGOT status last year, Goldberg completed hers in 2002, rounding up with a Tony for producing the Broadway show, "Thoroughly Modern Millie."

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Viola Davis Is Now An 'EGOT' After Winning Best Audio Book For 'Finding Me'

Davis accomplished a rare distinction in her decades-long career after being the first Black woman to win the Triple Crown of Acting —  Emmy, Oscar, and Tony Awards —  between 2001 and 2017. In case you missed it, she landed an Emmy for best lead actress in a drama series for her role as Annalise Keating in ABC's "How to Get Away with Murder" in 2015.

In 2017, the 57-year-old won the best supporting actress Oscar for the film adaptation of the period drama, "Fences," previously winning a Tony for it in 2010. She also received a Tony for her performance in the Broadway play, "King Hedley II," in 2001.

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Viola Davis at the 2022 Hamilton Behind The Camera Awards
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Now, over two decades after that first Tony win, the "Suicide Squad" star has earned a Grammy for her audiobook. Taking the stage on Sunday night, Davis could not hold back her emotions as she said:

"I wrote this book to honor [the] six-year-old Viola. To honor her, her life, her joy, her trauma, everything. It has just been such a journey. I just EGOT!"

According to Glamour, the actress thanked her publisher, Harper's Collins, and "everybody who was a part of my story." The "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom" actress sent a shout-out to the "best chapters yet," her husband, Julius Tennon, and their daughter, Genesis, stating:

"You are my life, my joy. You are the best chapter in this book. Thank you."

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Hudson shared the acceptance speech on Twitter, adding the caption, "Hold the line!!!!!!! Viola Davis just became EGOT #18!!! Omg @violadavis U are absolutely everything! Congratulations to a living LEGEND. Time to celebrate!!!" 

Others like Hudson who have been on the EGOT train include songwriter and composer Alan Menken, composer Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber, songwriter Sir Tim Rice, actor and director Mel Brooks, orchestrator Jonathan Tunick, film director Mike Nichols, film producer Scott Rudin, actor Sir John Gielgud, composer Richard Rodgers, actress Rita Moreno, singer John Legend, and composer Marvin Hamlisch.

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Meanwhile, Helen Hayes was the first woman to become EGOT-certified, winning two Oscars in 1932 for "The Sin of Madelon Claudet" and two Tonys — one for "Happy Birthday" in 1947 and the second for "Time Remembered" in 1958. In 1953, she received an Emmy for Best Actress and a Grammy for Best Spoken Word Album for "Great American Documents" in 1977, Town and Country Magazine reported.

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Additionally, Robert Lopez is the youngest EGOT winner, claiming all four within ten years and completing the set at 39. The songwriter is also the only person to have clinched all four awards more than once, currently having four Emmys, three Grammys,  two Oscars, and three Tonys.

Fans Attack Oscars Organizers For Excluding Davis From Its Nominee's List  

When the Academy Award nominations were released last month, fans of Davis were offended at the apparent disregard of the actress in the befitting categories. The Blast noted that the dismissal caused an outrage from several supporters who took to Twitter to express their disappointment at the Academy, with one person tweeting:

"In a category where 93/94 winners have been white, the Academy once again continues to ignore incredibly worthy performances by women of color in Best Actress."

"It's so frustrating to see this year after year…" wrote one person, as another noted the problem with Halle Berry being the only woman of color to "ever win for this category is the most bizarre thing to me….in 90+ years." 

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A fourth Twitter user pointed out how "crazy" it was that they are "really never gonna let another black woman win Best Actress." A handful of people also shared their annoyance about the snub, especially after they noticed that actress Ana de Armas was nominated in the best actress category for her performance in the 2022 drama, "Blonde."

Others even accused the film of stealing the spot from "The Woman King," which Davis featured in last year.

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