| 13.1°C Dublin

Jennifer Hudson achieves rare ‘EGOT’ status after Tony Award win


Jennifer Hudson. Picture: Reuters

Jennifer Hudson. Picture: Reuters

Jennifer Hudson. Picture: Reuters

Jennifer Hudson has achieved the coveted ‘EGOT’ status after winning a Tony award on Sunday.

The actress and singer served as a producer for A Strange Loop, which won best musical at the 75th annual ceremony in New York.

EGOT status refers to individuals who win all four major entertainment awards; an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and a Tony.

The prestigious status has only been awarded to 16 individuals previously, and the list includes such notable figures as Andrew Lloyd Webber, Rita Moreno, John Legend and Whoopi Goldberg.

Hudson won the Oscar for best supporting actress for her role in the 2006 film Dreamgirls.

She is a two-time Grammy-winner, having won awards for best R&B album in 2009 and best musical theatre album in 2017.

Last year she picked up a Daytime Emmy award for her producer role on Baba Yaga.

Hudson also introduced a performance by the cast of A Strange Loop at the Tonys alongside Drag Race star Ru Paul.

British composer Toby Marlow made history as the first non-binary Tony-winner at the 75th annual awards, on a night that celebrated increasing inclusion in the theatre.

The creator of the historical comedy musical, Six, won best original score (music and/or lyrics) written for the theatre, alongside co-creator Lucy Moss.

The show is a modern retelling of the lives of the six wives of Henry VIII presented as a pop concert and was created by Marlow and Moss while they were at Cambridge University together.

Six was nominated for a total of eight Tonys including best new musical, best original score, best direction of a musical, best costume design of a musical, best lighting design of a musical, best sound design of a musical, best choreography and best orchestrations.

Video of the Day

Gabriella Slade also won best costume design for her work on the production.

Members of the musical's cast delivered an explosive rendition of one of the show's numbers in the final performance of the night.

It was revealed after that performer Mallory Maedke had stepped in with 12 hours' notice to fill her part, after an unexpected drop-out.

"A Strange Loop," the story of a Black gay man and his mental struggles as a playwright, won the Tony award on Sunday for best new musical as Broadway honoured its first season since the long pandemic shutdown.

"The Lehman Trilogy," about the rise and fall of investment firm Lehman Brothers, took the best new play honour at a live ceremony held at Radio City Music Hall in New York.

"Strange Loop" triumphed over "MJ," a crowd-pleasing musical about Michael Jackson. Star Myles Frost won best actor in a musical for playing the King of Pop.

Being on stage to accept the Tony felt like a "miracle," said Ben Power, the writer of "Lehman Trilogy", after COVID-19 halted preview shows of the play for 577 days.

"In New York, even after everything, even after today, anything is possible," Power said, adding that the play had been written as "a hymn to the city of New York."

"Strange Loop" writer Michael R. Jackson based the musical on his own internal doubts as well as external obstacles as he tried to pen a Broadway show.

"I just wanted to create a little bit of a life raft for myself as a Black gay man," he said.

Best actor winner Frost addressed his mother in the audience as he accepted his award for "MJ."

"Mom, I made it," he said, and thanked her for bringing him up to be a "strong Black man."

For best revival of a musical, voters honoured "Company," the final project backed by composer and theatre legend Stephen Sondheim, who died in November.

The new "Company" reverses the gender roles of the original, which centreed on a single man considering his life choices as he turned 35. Producer Chris Harper thanked Sondheim "for letting us re-imagine the classic musical."

"Hamilton" creator Lin-Manuel Miranda introduced a tribute to Sondheim, saluting his "immortal" songs and lyrics and his mentorship of younger artists, including Miranda himself.

The three-hour telecast of the awards event featured a slew of performances from nominated shows, to help entice audiences back to theatres.

Hugh Jackman sang "76 Trombones" from "The Music Man" while Mare Winningham performed Bob Dylan's "Like a Rolling Stone," featured in the musical "Girl from the North Country."

Michael Jackson's children, Prince and Paris, introduced a rendition of "Smooth Criminal" by the "MJ" cast.

Patti LuPone won her third Tony award, for a supporting role in "Company." She thanked "all of the COVID safety people" for making Broadway's return possible. In the audience were 150 COVID-19 safety managers who had kept shows running.

Simon Russell Beale, the star of "Lehman Trilogy", won the Tony for lead actor in a play. Joaquina Kalukango took best actress in a musical for playing a 19th-century tavern owner in race relations story "Paradise Square."

"I give thanks to all of the nameless ancestors who have suffered. This show gives power to them," Kalukango said.

Sunday's Tonys were the 75th edition and the ceremony honoured some of Broadway's biggest hits over the decades. Host Ariana DeBose opened it with a medley honouring shows from "Cabaret" to "Wicked," "The Wiz" and "Hamilton."

She and others at the ceremony welcomed the industry's efforts to diversify the stories and casts on stage.

"I'm so proud that the theatre is becoming more reflective of the community that adores it," said DeBose, the Oscar-winning Afro-Latina star of "West Side Story."

Best play revival went to "Take Me Out," the story of a gay baseball player.

Deirdre O'Connell, who won the Tony for lead actress in a play for "Dana H," urged aspiring writers to "make the weird art." 

Most Watched