Viola Davis Scores EGOT Status At The 2023 Grammys

Emmy, Oscar, and Tony winning-actress Viola Davis joined the list of celebrities with EGOT status during the 65th Annual Grammy Awards. The award-winning actress won the “Spoken Word Album” category.

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Updated By: Kendall Parks (2/6/23 at 5:40 pm)

Viola Davis found her way to a new list of iconic celebrities who have reached EGOT status. Davis won her first Grammy in the “Spoken Word Album” category for her audiobook and memoir, Finding Me.

“I wrote this book to honor six-year-old Viola,” she said during her speech at the award show. “To honor her life, her joy, her trauma, everything. It has been such a journey. I just EGOT!”

The EGOT journey for Davis started years ago in 2015 when she won an Emmy for her role in the television series, How to Get Away With Murder.

In addition, Davis won an Oscar for the film Fences in 2017 and received two Tonys for Fences in 2010 and King Hedley II in 2001.

Now, her Grammy for her memoir cements her EGOT status.

There are only 17 people to ever reach EGOT status. Davis is the 18th and now seventh Black celebrity to reach EGOT status. 

She joins the ranks alongside John Legend, Quincy Jones, Jennifer Hudson, Whoopi Goldberg, James Earl Jones, and Harry Belafonte.

Black Celebs Who Are Close To EGOT Status & Here’s Why You Should Care

In September 2022, NBC Network celebrated the 74th Primetime Emmy Award Show. Five of its winners were Black women, making the moment monumental. Many of them are on the road to the rare EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar & Tony Awards) status.

The winners in the 74th Emmy Award show were announced on Monday, Sept. 12, at the Microsoft Theater in LA. Black women were applauded everywhere as Lizzo, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Quinta Brunson, and Zendaya took home an award. 

Many believe that it is high time Black entertainers are recognized for their achievements in Hollywood. 

What Is EGOT?

EGOT refers to four of Hollywood’s biggest awards celebrating the accomplishments of on-screen talent.

To make EGOT status, an artist must win the Emmy, Grammy, Oscar & Tony Awards. 

Here is a brief list of Black artists who have the potential to make EGOT status: 

Billy Porter 

In 2013, Porter won a Tony Award for “Best Performance” for the film Kinky

He also won an Emmy in 2019 for “Outstanding Lead Actor” in the hit drama series, Pose. In 2014, the actor won a Grammy for best musical theater album. The actor is only missing an Oscar, which he’s well on his way to winning. 


Common, formerly known as Common Sense, is one award away from achieving EGOT status. 

The rapper and talented actor currently holds two Oscars for “Best Original Song,” an Emmy for “Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics Category”, as well as 3 Grammys and 20 nominations throughout his career.

The only thing he’s missing is a Tony Award.  

Viola Davis

In 2017, Viola Davis won an Oscar for “Best Supporting Actress” in Fences. She also won an Emmy for her role in the hit television series, How to Get Away With Murder in 2015 and scored two Tonys for King Hedley II and Fences.

The outstanding actress is only missing a Grammy win to reach EGOT status.

Childish Gambino aka Donald Glover 

The multi-talented artist has won two Emmy Awards for “Outstanding Director and Actor in a Comedy Series” for his Atlanta hit show

He also won a Grammy for his song “Redbone.” He is two achievements shy: an Oscar and a Tony award. 

Lupita Nyong’o 

In 2014, Lupita won an Oscar for “Best Supporting Actress” for her role in 12 Years A Slave.

She also took home a Tony Award in 2020 for her role in the play Eclipsed. She is missing an Emmy and Grammy award. 


The “Damage” artist has won five Grammys in total. Last year, she won an Oscar for “Best Original Song”, The young artist is two awards away from EGOT and has admitted that she is aiming for big Hollywood status during an interview with Variety

Whoopi Goldberg, John Legend, Earl Jones, Quincy Jones, and Harry Belafonte remain the only Black celebs in history to have achieved EGOT status. Whoopi remains the only Black woman to have. 

Why Is EGOT Such A Big Deal? 

Very few Black entertainers have achieved EGOT status. Black artists have worked tirelessly for their work to be seen, heard, and included in the once prominently white Hollywood space. 

In the early 20th century, before African Americans were allowed to appear on-screen, white actors would paint their faces black and play out stereotyped depictions. 

Lincoln Perry was the first African American actor to play on screen in the 20th century. 

He built his career playing the role of Stepin Fetchit, a character who was mocked and seen as the laziest man in the world.  

Despite Perry’s hard work, success, and achievement of being the “first,” he never received any award.