LEG­END ACHIEVES THE EGOT

The East African - - THE MAGAZINE -

IA­gen­cies t was a crazy night last Sun­day for artist John Leg­end. There were awards. His­toric wins. The wrong ta­cos. Leg­end took home a Cre­ative Arts Emmy for his role in pro­duc­ing the tele­vised mu­si­cal

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

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

earned three ad­mis­sions into the club, bring­ing the to­tal to 15. Composer and theatre 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

He claimed an Os­car in 2015 with Com­mon for best orig­i­nal song for the film

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

The Cre­ative Em­mys rep­re­sent a sort of Em­mys pregame show, with awards given out for categories like tech­ni­cal categories, guest act­ing ap­pear­ances and va­ri­ety spe­cials.

And though Hol­ly­wood awards pro­grammes have been be­sieged in re­cent years with ac­cu­sa­tions of racial bias, in­clud­ing #Os­carssowhite, the Em­mys hit a land­mark for di­ver­sity last week­end. All four guest act­ing categories over the week­end were awarded to African-amer­i­can ac­tors.

The Cre­ative Em­mys also pro­vide an early boost for net­work brag­ging rights. HBO cur­rently leads the way with 17 Emmy wins, fol­lowed closely by Netflix’s 16. In July, when the Emmy nominations were an­nounced, Netflix snapped HBO’S 17-year streak of most Emmy nominations among a tele­vi­sion net­work.

But if HBO can pre­vail through the main cer­e­mony on Mon­day, it will ex­tend its run of earn­ing the most Em­mys among all TV net­works to 17 con­sec­u­tive years, a feat that will help soften the blow from July.

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