Elton John is now an EGOT winner — but a recent surgery kept him from celebrating the accomplishment in person.
“Now, I can’t speak for Elton but EGOT to be excited about that,” Amy Poehler joked during the 2023 Emmys on Monday, January 15, before naming John, 76, the winner of the Outstanding Live Variety Special category.
The musician subsequently earned his first Emmy for his performance in Elton John Live: Farewell from Dodger Stadium.
“Thank you so much, I am not Elton John,” producer Ben Winston told the audience while accepting the award on John’s behalf. “Sadly, he had a knee [operation]. He’s absolutely fine. He wanted to send his love and thanks to the television academy for this wonderful award.”
Winston, 42, gushed over the singer’s accomplishments as well. “We knew this show was going to be historic because it was going to be Elton’s last ever show in North America on tour,” he concluded. “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 … we didn’t know it was going to win him an EGOT.”
Moments later, John released his own statement about the honor. “I am incredibly humbled to be joining the unbelievably talented group of EGOT winners tonight. The journey to this moment has been filled with passion, dedication, and the unwavering support of my fans all around the world,” he said in a press release. “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 live special, which was tapped at Dodgers Stadium in Los Angeles for Disney+, also won Emmys for Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Variety Series or Special and Outstanding Technical Direction and Camerawork for a Special. It was part of his Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour, which kicked off in 2018 and ended in July 2023 after COVID-19 delays.
While Elton John Live won big on Monday, it was John who came out on top. The iconic singer is now one of 19 entertainers to be dubbed an EGOT winner after previously winning five Grammy awards beginning in 1987.
He added his first Oscar win for Best Original Song for “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” in 1994. It wasn’t until 2000 that John earned a Tony Award for his score in Aida.