Viola Davis Has Just Won Her First Grammy – And Made History In The Process

The Woman King star is the 18th celebrity to officially reach EGOT status thanks to her latest awards win.
Viola Davis on stage at the 2023 Grammys
Viola Davis on stage at the 2023 Grammys
Frazer Harrison via Getty Images

Viola Davis won her first Grammy award on Sunday night – and made entertainment history in the process.

During this year’s ceremony, it was announced that the Woman King star had been awarded a Grammy for the audiobook version of her memoir Finding Me.

This makes her only the 18th person to reach EGOT level, meaning she has won one of each of the major entertainment awards: an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar and a Tony.

Speaking backstage after her win, Viola shared: “I’m really emotional. My life has really come full circle.

“I wrote this book because I was trying to reconcile my life. I was trying to honour the young Viola. I wanted her to be excited at the 57-year-old she gets to become. And this is just the icing on the cake.”

Of her younger self, Viola added: “She was a survivor, and she brought me to this place. And so today I honour her with every fibre of my being.”

Asked how she’d be celebrating, she responded: “I may have some French fries and some sparkling wine. I’m a simple woman.”

Viola first won two Tonys for her performances in the plays King Hedley II and Fences, in 2001 and 2010, respectively.

She then won an Emmy in 2015 for her work on the drama How To Get Away With Murder.

An Oscar followed in 2017, after she won plaudits for her performance in the film Fences, a big-screen adaptation of the play for which she’d previously earned a Tony.

Viola previously made no secret of her hopes to win the Grammy and complete the EGOT.

During an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel’s US talk show last month, she said: “I’m a serious actor. I am. I went to Juilliard. I feel it’s about the work.

“[But] it’s like my niece Annabella, who had a meltdown at Circus Circus when she was six years old, snot dripping and crying, and all she was saying was, ‘I wanna win! I wanna win!’.

“In my brain, with the Grammy, I’m like, ‘I wanna win! I wanna win!’.”

On her hopes for the Recording Academy to “throw me a bone”, she added: “There’s something in me that says that I deserve it. All of [her fellow nominees] have already won it!”

Viola joins 17 other big names in the entertainment industry to have reached EGOT status.

Fellow EGOTs include West Side Story star Rita Moreno, comedian Mel Brooks, all-round entertainer Whoopi Goldberg and musician John Legend.

Jennifer Hudson was the most recent person to achieve the EGOT, following her win at the Tony Awards in 2022, as a producer on the musical A Strange Loop.


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