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Arts and Entertainment

With Emmy win, John Legend achieves status worthy of his last name

September 10, 2018 at 9:40 AM

John Legend on Sunday in Los Angeles. (Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)

It was a crazy night on Sunday for artist John Legend. There were awards. Historic wins. The wrong tacos.

Legend took home a Creative Arts Emmy for his producer role in the televised musical “Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert.” That win completed the set for the rarefied achievement in the arts known as the EGOT — claiming an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony Award.

He joins only 14 others who have received the quadruple crown, a distinguished list that includes Audrey Hepburn, Mel Brooks and composer Richard Rodgers (the first to have received all four).

But even on that unofficial list, Legend stands out. At 39, he is the second youngest to achieve the status by only eight months, and also the second fastest to achieve the distinction.

It took Legend 12 years to finish after he began with a Grammy win in 2006 for best new artist. He went on to win nine others.

Only Robert Lopez of “The Book of Mormon” was younger, by less than a year. And he completed the set in 10 years.

Perhaps just as remarkably, there were only 12 EGOT champions before Sunday.

But five awards for “Jesus Christ Superstar” earned three admissions into the club, bringing the total to 15. Composer and theater living legend Andrew Lloyd Webber received an Emmy, as did lyricist Tim Rice.

Legend’s meteoric career netted a Tony Award last year for co-producing the August Wilson revival “Jitney.” He claimed an Oscar in 2015 with Common for best original song for the film “Selma.”

With his EGOT, he became the second African American member after Whoopi Goldberg.

Chrissy Teigen — author, model, empress of Twitter and amateur entomologist — showered her husband with praise and snark on social media.

She filmed Legend, still in his tux, pulling over a piano bench to reach the top shelf of his already crowded awards collection. He places the Emmy in the center, stands back and grins widely.

“Perfect,” she says, her voice raspy after a no-doubt buzzy night.

Her caption read, “And I say hey, what a wonderful kind of day” — a not-so-thinly-veiled reference to the theme song for the TV show “Arthur.” She has teased Legend for resembling the cartoon aardvark.

She also took a video of Legend in a robe making pancakes. “EGOT pancakes!” he exclaims.

That came after Teigen told her Twitter audience over a nighttime haul of french fries that she received the wrong tacos. She ordered soft tacos, not hard shell, Teigen says.

You can’t win everything after all.

Read more:

CBS chief executive Les Moonves is departing amid probe into allegations of sexual misconduct

So long, Michael Scott. Here comes Steve Carell, Serious Actor.


Alex Horton is a general assignment reporter for The Washington Post. He previously covered the military and national security for Stars and Stripes, and served in Iraq as an Army infantryman.

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