What is an EGOT? Elton John is the latest to win the quadruple honour

Multi-award winning super star Elton John who recently achieved EGOT status. Picture: Instagram.

Multi-award winning super star Elton John who recently achieved EGOT status. Picture: Instagram.

Published Jan 22, 2024


One of the most exclusive clubs in show business is the EGOT - the group of celebrities who have an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony award.

Of all the stars to have graced screens in Hollywood history, only 19 have achieved EGOT status.

Elton John became the latest to do so last week when he won an Emmy for outstanding variety special for his televised, live farewell performance at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles in November 2022.

So, what does EGOT really mean? And who else has won?

The facts

The acronym EGOT stands for Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony, and is used to refer to people who have won at least one of each of the main American entertainment awards in competitive categories.

The term was first coined by "Miami Vice" actor Philip Michael Thomas in 1984.

But it became mainstream starting in 2009, when it was mentioned in an episode of the satirical sitcom "30 Rock."

It went on to feature in multiple seasons of "30 Rock."


Thomas first rose to fame when he was cast as Ricardo "Rico" Tubbs, half of an undercover vice detective duo policing the streets of Miami.

In 1984, he told the Associated Press in an interview that he wanted to win an EGOT - "that stands for Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony," he said, according to the Atlantic - in the following five years.

He even wore a necklace that had the letters engraved on it. (Later, Thomas - who was never nominated for any of the four awards - told news outlets EGOT actually stood for "Energy, Growth, Opportunity and Talent", although not many were convinced by his explanation.)

Nonetheless, Thomas's contributions to pop culture would grow to include the term EGOT. In 2009, Thomas's necklace was depicted in an episode of the New York sitcom "30 Rock."

In the episode, "Dealbreakers Talk Show #0001", Tracy Morgan's character, Tracy Jordan, walked into a jewellery store to buy a "simple" and "classy" gift for his wife but instead walked out with a different item: A large mirror-and-diamond-encrusted EGOT necklace.

"Who's an EGOT?" Jordan asked the salesman. "EGOT is not a person, T.J. It's a goal," the salesman replied. "That's a good goal for a talented crazy person," mused Jordan.

At one point, Jordan decided to write "the most popular song of all time" and get it featured in a TV show, get that TV show featured in a movie, and then in a Broadway play based on that movie.

When this plan floundered, Jordan asked real-life EGOT winner Whoopi Goldberg's advice - and tried to steal her Grammy and Oscar awards. He would go on to spend several seasons of "30 Rock" trying to earn an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony.

He eventually succeeded in his goal but realized it was more responsibility than he thought.

In an interview with the Ringer in 2019, Morgan said he "didn't even know what an EGOT was before" it was first mentioned in the "30 Rock" episode.

That seems to have been the case for a lot of people: Google data shows that the term wasn't searched much before December 2009.

Even "30 Rock" acknowledged its role in popularising the term: In 2020, it posted a clip of the scene in which Jordan buys the EGOT necklace, writing, "Odds are, you learned what an EGOT is from Tracy Jordan."

Viola Davis has achieved EGOT status. Picture: Instagram.

List of past EGOT winners

Here are the 19 competitive EGOT winners.

The first three were nominated before the term even existed.

– Richard Rodgers

– Rita Moreno

– Helen Hayes

– John Gielgud

– Audrey Hepburn

– Marvin Hamlisch

– Jonathan Tunick

– Mike Nichols

– Mel Brooks

– Whoopi Goldberg

– Scott Rudin

– Robert Lopez

– Tim Rice

– John Legend

– Andrew Lloyd Webber

– Alan Menken

– Jennifer Hudson

– Viola Davis

– Elton John

Adele is one award away from achieving EGOT status. Picture: Instagram.

Who is close to EGOT status?

Some stars are close to achieving EGOT status.

Here are some of them, along with the awards they have and the ones they still need to win an EGOT.

Adele currently has an Emmy, Grammy and an Oscar, and the internationally renowned superstar just needs a Tony award.

– Lin-Manuel Miranda only needs to complete the full set as he currently has a Tony, Emmy and a Grammy.

– Hugh Jackman has a Tony, Emmy and Grammy and it is just an Oscar that has alluded his so far.

– Kate Winslet only needs a Tony to achieve full EGOT status, as she currently as an Emmy, Grammy and an Oscar.

– Cher has an Emmy, Grammy and Oscar; and needs only needs a Tony award.

– Eminem is also just of a Tony, as he currently has an Emmy, Grammy and Oscar.