With her Grammy win, Viola Davis joins the exclusive EGOT club

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Davis makes history as the third Black woman to earn the prestigious status.

“I just EGOT!” 

These were the simple and triumphant words of acclaimed actress and producer Viola Davis following her historic Grammy win today. She was referring to the acronym for the Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony Awards. EGOT is a distinction given to artists who have received nods from all four major entertainment awards.

Davis received a Grammy nod for her performance in the audiobook of her memoir Finding Me, which was released in April 2022. Her win officially inducted her into the hall of EGOT-winning artists. 

“I wrote this book to honor the six-year-old Viola. To honor her life, her joy, her trauma, everything, and it has been such a journey,” the actress said in her acceptance speech. Davis’ win rounds up the number of EGOT winners to 18. She is the third Black woman to earn the distinction, following Jennifer Hudson and Whoopi Goldberg. 

The actress began her EGOT journey in 2001, winning the Tony Award for Best Featured actress In a Play for King Hedley II.  

This was followed by another Tony for Best Leading Actress in a Play in August Wilson’s Pulitzer Prize-winning period drama Fences. Davis would go on to reprise her role as Rose Lee Maxson in the film version, which would garner her an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in 2016. 

In 2015, she won the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series for playing the main protagonist Annalise Keating in the legal drama How To Get Away With Murder. Her Grammy win for Best Audio Book, Narration & Storytelling Recording rounds up her EGOT wins, bringing her to a total of five competitive awards.

“I’m really emotional. My life has really come full circle,” Viola shared about her EGOT status at the backstage interview following her win. “I wrote this book because I was trying to reconcile my life. I was trying to honor the young Viola. I wanted her to be excited at the 57 year-old she gets to become and this, this is just the icing on the cake.”

In an interview with the Grammys earlier this year, Davis reflected on her career and what it would mean for her to be inducted into the halls of EGOT winners. 

“I absolutely, definitely think about it as a huge accomplishment. I feel this way, even though it’s probably a very dramatic statement on my part: I think that everybody wants their life to mean something,” Davis shared in the interview. “I believe in the Cherokee birth blessing, which is ‘May you live long enough to know why you were born.’ I do believe that you literally wanna blow a hole through this world in whatever way you can. 

“A lot of people don’t know how to do that. A lot of people haven’t found that thing that they’re passionate about, that they can do. Some have. But we all are looking for that, blowing a hole through this earth before we leave it,” she said. “I think about that in my work a lot. I really found that thing that I love to do. So I always wanna make it meaningful.”

Recording Academy / GRAMMYs | YouTube
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