At present, there are only twelve individuals who have won all four of the prestigious entertainment awards: the Emmy for television, the Grammy for music, the Oscar (or Academy Award) for film, and the Tony for theatre. In 2014, Robert Lopez, the co-creator of Avenue Q and The Book of Mormon became the youngest person to win all four awards (at age 38), as well as the individual to earn all four awards in the shortest amount of time (10 years), when he took home the Oscar for Best Original Song for “Let It Go” from Frozen. As of the recent announcement of the 2017 Academy Award nominees, Lin-Manuel Miranda, the creator of Hamilton and In the Heights, is positioned to compete with that honor. With his nomination for composing the Best Original Song nominee “How Far I’ll Go” from the Disney animated film Moana, Miranda could potentially overtake the record for the youngest EGOT ever (at age 37), and for accomplishing the honor in the least amount of time (9 years). Still, Miranda faces tough competition for this award, and his EGOT status is by no means guaranteed (at least not certainly this year). The other four nominees for the Best Original Song category include two songs from La La Land – “Audition (The Fools Who Dream)” and “City of Stars” – as well as “Can’t Stop the Feeling” from Trolls and “The Empty Chair” from Jim: The James Foley Story. Especially as La La Land has been nominated for an outstanding 14 Academy Awards, that musical film has the potential to sweep the Oscars similarly to how Hamilton swept the Tony Awards this past year, making the EGOT achievement all the more competitive.
While Miranda may not yet have won an Oscar, he has already taken home several other prestigious awards not traditionally included in the somewhat arbitrary EGOT marker, which other EGOTs have not won. Specifically, he won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for Hamilton, as well as the MacArthur Genius Grant. As for the Tony Awards, he has personally won three – those for Best Original Score for In the Heights and Best Book and Best Original Score for Hamilton – in addition to the two Best Musical awards won by his musicals (which go to the producers). He won an Emmy Award in 2014 for Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics for his composition in collaboration with Tom Kitt at the 67th Annual Tony Awards ceremony. As for Grammy Awards, so far he has won two – for Best Musical Theater Album for Hamilton in 2016, and the same award for In the Heights in 2009. Among the twelve EGOT winners to date, only two have also won Pulitzer Prizes: Marvin Hamlisch and Richard Rodgers. Neither of these two have won MacArthur Genius Grants. So, if Miranda were to win the Academy Award, he would be what the Chicago Tribune has coined as a MacPEGOT. As it stands, the original term for EGOT was reportedly first used by an actor who had won none of the awards, Philip Michael Thomas who was well-known for his turn on “Miami Vice.” More recently, Tracy Morgan’s character on “30 Rock” re-popularized the term, in this case by making fun of those who vie for the acronym. Fortunately, while there is much buzz about Miranda being on the brink of earning the honor of EGOT, Miranda himself remains quite humble about it. When asked about the potential of winning all four awards last fall, he responded graciously, stating that many great artists win no awards at all, such as Vincent Van Gogh, and that awards are not markers of excellence. Still, he did admit that they are cool.