Last night, the 76-year-old entertainer won his first Emmy Award thanks to his concert film, Elton John Live: Farewell From Dodger Stadiumwhich triumphed in the Outstanding Variety Special category. The production captures John’s 2022 farewell concert in Los Angeles.
Comedians Amy Poehler and Tina Fey presented the award. “Now, I can’t speak for Elton, but EGOT to be excited about that,” said Poehler.
John was not able to attend the ceremony due to a recent knee replacement surgery, “which isn’t surprising if you think of the number of pianos he’s jumped off from in platform heels,” said John’s husband, David Furnish, after the ceremony, per a video from the Hollywood Reporter.
Furnish claimed he woke up his husband in the middle of the night via Facetime to share the achievement. “He screamed out loud,” said Furnish.
“I am incredibly humbled to be joining the unbelievably talented group of EGOT winners tonight,” said John in a statement, per Variety’s Zack Sharf. “The journey to this moment has been filled with passion, dedication and the unwavering support of my fans all around the world. Tonight is a testament to the power of the arts and the joy that it brings to all our lives. Thank you to everyone who has supported me throughout my career; I am incredibly grateful.”
The term EGOT dates back about four decades, when “Miami Vice” actor Philip Michael Thomas coined it, per the New York Times’ Jennifer Vineyard. “[In January]I put a plan in motion, which I call ‘EGOT,’” said Thomas in an interview with Entertainment Tonight that year. “And EGOT is ‘E’ for Emmy, ‘G’ for Grammy, ‘O’ for Oscar and ‘T’ for Tony. And I’m putting this on a five-year plan. I hope to win all of those in the next five years.”
At that time, only three people had achieved the honor: composer Richard Rodgers, actress Helen Hayes and actress Rita Moreno. Thomas didn’t end up winning any of the four awards, but his acronym would eventually find its way to the mainstream.
With the Emmy win, John joined the ranks of decorated performers like Mel Brooks, Alan Menken, Whoopi Goldberg and John Legend. He is the 19th entertainer to achieve an EGOT, following Viola Daviswho cemented the title with a Grammy award last year.
Ben Winstona producer of Farewell From Dodger Stadiumaccepted the Emmy on John’s behalf.
“We knew this show would be historic because it was going to be Elton’s last ever show in North America on tour. We knew it would be historic because it was Disney’s first-ever live global stream,” said Winston in his speech. “We didn’t know it was going to be historic because it was going to win a man who has created the soundtrack to all of our lives—he’s done so much great for society, who is all of our heroes—we didn’t know that it was going to win him an EGOT.”