Jennifer Hudson is now the 17th person to achieve the much-coveted status of EGOT winner. She won a Tony Award on Sunday, adding another trophy to her line of Emmy, Grammy and Oscar victories. In this instance, Hudson won the award the Tony as a co-producer of A Strange Loop, which took home the evening’s biggest prize for best musical. Even more impressively, she is one of only two black women (the other being Whoopi Goldberg) to join the troupe, as well as being only the fifth woman to join the exclusive list of winners.
Hudson bagged the 2007 Oscar for Dreamgirls, and has won two Grammys. Other luminaries who can claim to be EGOT winners are Tim Rice, John Legend, Marvin Hamlisch and Mel Brooks. Audrey Hepburn was the first to be posthumously awarded the title, and John Gielgud doubled as the oldest surviving winner (he was 87 when he was awarded the title) as well as the first to come from the LGBT community.
Hudson enjoyed a friendship with gospel singer Aretha Franklin and says she misses the singer desperately: “She would ask me about my son. She would know what was going on with him. You know, things like that. It always blew me away, like: ‘Wow, you’re that aware and present.’ So I miss her a lot, to be honest.”
Hudson says that Franklin was very approachable in her demeanour: “And that was eight years, at the hour, of our very first meeting and discussion about me playing her. But she was a very hands-on person. Normally you get a call from a director or agent. No – she called”. Hudson says Franklin saw something in her, which might explain why the vocalist of ‘Respect’ pushed for her to play her in the film. Hudson describes ‘Respect’ as an anthem for black people and women, calling for equal rights.
In an interview with Bazaar, Hudson joked that she was looking forward to adding a ‘T’ to her ‘EGO’. The actress is reportedly going to play Oprah Winfrey in an upcoming project. The actress is expected to make an announcement about her win.