Call her “17”! Jennifer Hudson is opening up about becoming the 17th person in history to earn EGOT status after the musical A Strange Loop, on which she’s a producer, won a Tony for best musical earlier this summer.
“I’m still processing it. To be able to know fully what that means, the company that that is… It came as a surprise,” Hudson told Gayle King on CBS This Morning. “I did not fully see it coming.”
Hudson — who earned an Oscar for her role in Dreamgirls, two Grammys (one for her self-titled album), an Emmy for Baba Yaga, and now the Tony for A Strange Loop — shared she was shocked when people started to chant “EGOT” as she took the stage with the cast of the musical back in June.
“I went there to celebrate the cast for getting 11 nominations, and I don’t feel like I’ve been present. And then when they said, ‘Strange Loop, best musical,’ I was cheering for them,” Hudson said. “And once we get on the stage, everybody started chanting, ‘EGOT, EGOT,’ and I was like, ‘Wait, what?’”
“It blows me away… I always have a keepsake just as I have this,” she added, pointing to a ring she has with the letters EGO. “So now I have a charm that says 17. When you see 17, that’s what it means.”
Hudson added that she won’t change her EGO ring “since it’s held me down for a while,” but added that she’ll get an EGOT ring to commemorate the accomplishment. Of the 17 people with EGOT status, Hudson is the youngest woman.
Hudson follows in the footsteps of composer Alan Menken, lyricist Tim Rice, composer Andrew Lloyd Webber, and John Legend, who’ve recently earned their EGOT status. Whoopi Goldberg was the first Black EGOT winner when she earned the title in 2009.
Hudson shared a selfie with her trophies ahead of her 41st birthday. “Counting down til my birthday ! In a few days I will be 41 but then again I will always be 17! #EGOT #17,” she wrote.
King’s full interview with Hudson for CBS This Morning airs on Friday.