Viola Davis achieves Egot status at 2023 Grammy Awards

The actress gave an emotional speech after winning the prize for the audio book of memoir, Finding Me

Viola Davis accepts the award for Best Audio Book, Narration, and Storytelling Recording at the 65th Annual Grammy Awards. AFP
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Actress Viola Davis has achieved the rare and sought-after Egot status at the 65th Annual Grammy Awards, making her the third black woman in history to have done so.

Reaching this status means that a performer has won all four major American entertainment awards: an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar and a Tony.

Davis won the Grammy for her performance of the audiobook for her memoir, Finding Me.

“I wrote this book to honour the six-year-old Viola, to honour her life, her joy, her everything and it’s been such a journey, I just Egot!” an emotional Davis said in her acceptance speech.

The actress also thanked “everybody who has been part of my story” and called her husband, actor Julius Tennon, and their daughter Genesis Tennon “the best chapter yet”.

Previously, Davis had won an Emmy for her performance in the Shonda Rhimes TV series How To Get Away with Murder in 2015 and an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in Fences in 2017, in which she starred alongside Denzel Washington. She won two Tony awards for her performances on the stage in King Hedley II in 2001, then again for the stage version of Fences in 2010.

In Finding Me, the actress details her life growing up in Rhode Island — where she experienced racism and bullying — and her move to New York, where she pursued her dream of performing and how she found success and fame.

In the Grammys 2023 audiobook category, Davis was nominated alongside musician Questlove for his book with Ben Greenman, Music is History; composer and actor Lin-Manuel Miranda for his recording of the New York Times bestselling young adult novel Aristotle and Dante Dive into the Waters of the World by Benjamin Alire Saenz; actor Jamie Foxx’s performance for his book Act Like You Got Some Sense; and actor Mel Brooks, also an Egot winner, for his audiobook of All About Me!.

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Only 17 other performers have reached the status of Egot, and Davis is the fourth black person to do so alongside Whoopi Goldberg, Jennifer Hudson and John Legend.

Other recipients include Audrey Hepburn and Andrew Lloyd Webber.

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Updated: February 06, 2023, 1:22 PM