Eminem just added another award to his already vast trophy case. The Detroit rapper (along with Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Kendrick Lamar, 50 Cent, and Mary J. Blige) won a 2022 Creative Arts Emmy award for his participation in this year’s Super Bowl Halftime performance. The star-studded 14-minute set won an award for Outstanding Variety Special during the two-day awards showcase.
With last week’s win, Slim Shady is now only a Tony Award away from the entertainment world’s Grand Slam: an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony. Otherwise known as an EGOT.
The influential and sometimes controversial rapper got the Grammy win out of the way early, winning two in 2000. His sophomore album, Slim Shady LP won Best Rap Album, and his breakout single “My Name Is” won for Best Rap Solo Performance. “Guilty Conscience,” his Jekyll and Hyde duet with Dr. Dre was also nominated in 2000 for Best Rap Performance By A Duo Or Group. In total he’s won 15 Grammys and has been nominated 44 times.
A few years after his Grammy wins, Eminem expanded into Hollywood starring as B. Rabbit in the semi-autobiographical 2002 film 8 Mile. The movie’s stirring “Lose Yourself” single (which he performed at the Super Bowl) won a 2002 Academy Award for Best Original Song (with producers Jeff Bass and Luis Resto also being awarded). And now, he’s an Emmy winner on the precipice of joining a 17-member club.
The first EGOT winner was composer Richard Rodgers, who won an Emmy for Winston Churchill: The Valiant Years, has two Grammys, a Best Song Oscar and six Tonys. Rodgers also has a Pulitzer Prize, making him and Marvin Hamlisch the only two people with all five awards (is that a PEGOT?). The term was retroactively coined in 1985, when Miami Vice actor Philip Michael Thomas divulged to Playboy that the EGOT chain he had been wearing symbolized his aspirations to win all four awards. “I told Don [Johnson] about my goal, EGOT, which stands for Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony — I want to win or be nominated for each award in the next five years. And he told me about dreams he wanted to develop,” he said then. To this point, he’s been nominated for none, but can have solace that his coinage embodies the other words he later assigned to the chain: “energy, growth, opportunity, and talent.”
Thomas was lampooned in a 2009 30 Rock episode where Tracy Jordan (played by Tracy Morgan) bought the chain. Jordan opined, “that’s a good goal for a talented crazy person,” and then affirmed his own crazy talent by earning EGOT status over the course of multiple seasons. Whoopi Goldberg says she didn’t realize she was in the EGOT club until she saw 30 Rock, encapsulating the exclusively hindsight appeal of a term coined in Thomas’ ambitious foresight.
Will Eminem, armed with knowledge of how close he is to EGOT status, make a run at Broadway? Is 8 Mile: The Musical imminent? Em’s manager Paul Rosenberg ominously tweeted “One T to go… 🤔” last Friday hinting that he may embark on a Tracy Jordanesque journey for his client.
It’s a testament to Eminem’s musical legacy that his Oscar and Emmy awards come from a song and a live performance, not acting. In his prime, Eminem rapped with a sarcastic snarl about how much success sucked. And he did it so well that now he’s entrenched himself in Tinseltown schmaltz in a way that the Slim Shady LP version of Eminem would likely parody. One could see his rhyme book having plenty of sophomoric lyrics about cartoonishly torturing the likes of John Legend and Mel Brooks. But one day soon, he might be next to them in Broadway musical reverie. Such is life, age and achievement.