Jennifer Hudson Is Now EGOT Royalty

40-year-old performer completes Emmy-Grammy-Oscar-Tony loop with Tony win for producing role
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 13, 2022 6:26 AM CDT
Jennifer Hudson Is Now EGOT Royalty
Jennifer Hudson arrives at the Tony Awards on Sunday at Radio City Music Hall in New York.   (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

(Newser) – Meet your newest EGOT winner: Jennifer Hudson, who started out as a contestant on American Idol and has worked her way up to one of the most impressive achievements in entertainment. People reports that the 40-year-old actress and singer completed the EGOT feat—in which one wins an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony—Sunday night at the Tony Awards for her co-producer role in Michael R. Jackson's A Strange Loop, which won for best musical. Hudson kicked off the quartet in 2007 with an Oscar for best supporting actress for Dreamgirls, then followed that up with two Grammys—one for her self-titled debut album in 2009, the second as a performer in the album for The Color Purple, which took home best musical theater album in 2017.

Hudson came one step closer to EGOT status last year with a Daytime Emmy win for her executive producer role for the animated short Baba Yaga, which clinched the outstanding interactive media honor. Paul Grein at Billboard notes that Hudson is the 17th person to join the elite EGOT group, as well as the third youngest at age 40 years, nine months, and only the third Black performer to do so, following in Whoopi Goldberg and John Legend's footsteps. But Grein also brings up "a problem that has arisen in the EGOT phenomenon"—namely, that Hudson won her Tony on Sunday for being one of A Strange Loop's 44 producers, which leaves him wondering how much creative influence she could have had.

Grein notes he's not trying to dismiss Hudson's EGOT achievement, as she's just working within the rules of the system, and because "she absolutely has the talent to become an EGOT as a performer one day." But he asserts that perhaps the rules should be tweaked to place a limit on how many producers can claim such an award. He points out that, under the current system, the two dozen or so living luminaries that need just a Tony to earn their own EGOT title simply have to "tell their agents they want to start investing in projects with awards potential. If they have good instincts and connections, one of those projects is bound to win." The New York Times notes some of the other celebrities who took home a Tony as a producer for A Strange Loop, including Mindy Kaling, Don Cheadle, Alan Cumming, and RuPaul. (Read more Jennifer Hudson stories.)

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