Jennifer Hudson Just Became The 17th Person To Win An Oscar, Grammy, Emmy, And Tony

Jennifer Hudson just joined a very exclusive group of artists who have dominated across many types of media: the singer and actress has achieved an EGOT after last night's Tony awards.

As a producer on the super-meta Broadway play "A Strange Loop," Hudson shared the trophy for Best Musical at the 75th Tony Awards. Her first step towards the prestigious and rare title came in 2006, when she won an Oscar for her portrayal of Effie White in her film debut, "Dreamgirls." The former "American Idol" contestant then took home two Grammys, first for her self-titled album in 2009 (which won Best R&B Album) and later for "The Color Purple" cast recording in 2017. Her Daytime Emmy win came for executive producing "Baba Yaga," a 2020 VR short that she also starred in.

Hudson joins the ranks of performers including Rita Moreno, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Audrey Hepburn, and John Legend who have all garnered praise across four major award show categories. She also joins Whoopi Goldberg as only the second Black woman to accomplish an EGOT. The most recent EGOT recipient before Hudson was Alan Menken, the composer who has scored Disney classics like "The Little Mermaid" and "Beauty and the Beast." Menken finished up his EGOT in 2020, with a Daytime Emmy award for "Rapunzel's Tangled Adventure."

Hudson makes history

While Hudson's success is absolutely worth celebrating, it's always worth remembering that there are also many talented artists doing great work without establishment recognition. The Oscars, for example, have only ever awarded one Black woman (Halle Berry, for "Monster's Ball") a Best Actress in a Leading Role trophy, while according to Essence, the list of Black women who have won a Primetime Emmy is only about double the length of the vanishingly small list of EGOT winners. As awesome as Hudson's achievement is, it's clear that the voting organizations created to reward great art still have a ways to go before they represent the full breadth of true talent on screen.

Aptly, the play Hudson just won a Tony for, Michael R. Jackson's "A Strange Loop," tells the story of a Black, queer writer grappling with questions about how to make art in this moment. The musical tells the story of Usher, which its official synopsis describes as "a young artist grappling with desires, identity, and instincts he both loves and loathes." Jackson also won a Pulitzer for "A Strange Loop" in 2020.