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John Legend performs songs from best original song nominees "City of Stars" and "Audition" from "La La Land" at the Oscars on Feb. 26, 2017, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.
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Citizenship

John Legend Is the First Black Man to Achieve 'EGOT' Status in Entertainment


Why Global Citizens Should Care
The entertainment industry has been criticized for lacking diversity. Legend’s win is a sign the industry is slowly changing. You can join us here by taking action to reduce inequality and fight against discrimination.

John Legend made entertainment industry history Sunday night.

The star became the first African-American man to have won an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony Award — also known as EGOT status. 

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Legend received an Emmy for producing Jesus Christ Superstar Live In Concert, Insider reports. The show has been hailed the best live show of 2018. 

He shared his gratitude in an Instagram post.

“So happy to be part of this team. So honored they trusted me to play Jesus Christ. So amazed to be in such rarefied air," he captioned a photo with producers and songwriters Sirs Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, who were also granted EGOT status that night after winning an Emmy for the show. 

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Until Sunday, only 12 other people held EGOT status, including actress Whoopi Goldberg

Not only is Legend the first African-American man to obtain EGOT status, but at 39-years-old, he’s also the youngest. 

The talented performer probably isn’t done racking up trophies. He’s still up for an Emmy in the outstanding lead actor in a limited series category, for his role as Jesus Christ in Jesus Christ Superstar. The winner will be announced Monday. 

Legend previously won an Oscar and Grammy for working on Selma, a historical film based on the 1965 Selma to Montgomery voting rights marches led by civil rights leaders, including Martin Luther King Jr. Legend’s commitment to social justice carries offscreen, too. In 2017, the philanthropist received the Salem Advocate for Social Justice Award for his work on criminal justice and education.

Celebrities including musician Chance the Rapper and actor Zach Braff congratulated the producer on social media. 

The Emmys have been full of firsts for people of color lately. Legend’s feat follows Lena Waithe’s 2017 victory, when the actress and writer became the first African-American woman to win an Emmy for writing in a comedy series. Killing Eve actress Sandra Oh became the first Asian woman to be nominated for a lead actress Emmy in July. 

Honoring a diverse range of talent with accolades shows the entertainment industry is making some progress, but it doesn’t solve the industry’s race problem. USC’s Annenberg Inclusion Initiative’s annual study reported very little has changed in terms of racial and gender representation on and off screen. 


John Legend will perform a special guest set at the 2018 Global Citizen Festival in New York City. 

The 2018 Global Citizen Festival in New York will be presented for the very first time by Citi. MSNBC and Comcast NBCUniversal will air a live simulcast of the Festival on MSNBC and MSNBC.com. The Festival will also be livestreamed on YouTube and Twitter, presented by Johnson & Johnson. Proud partners of the 2018 Global Citizen Festival include Global Citizen’s global health partner and major partner Johnson & Johnson, and major partners P&G, CHIME FOR CHANGE Founded by Gucci, Verizon, House of Mandela, iHeartMedia, and NYC Parks. Associate partners include Microsoft, Great Big Story, and One Championship.

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