Viola Davis got her Oscar! With her Best Supporting Actress win at the 89th Academy Awards Sunday, Viola became a Triple Crown performer (Emmy, Tony, Oscar) and now just needs a Grammy to join the uber-rare ranks of performers with the distinction of being EGOT. She'd become the 13th person to snatch all top prizes for work across TV, theater, film and recording, and the second African-American in the ranks, after Whoopi Goldberg.
You already know her team is scouting opportunities and fielding offers to make that happen ASAP but, you know, just in case they need help or anything, TVGuide.com is here to help with some surefire ways to get Viola that Grammy right away.
1. Do a spoken word album
This is the safest, fail-safe express route most non-musicians take to snag a Grammy. All kinds of people who don't scream "Grammy winner!" have them, including two for Barack Obama (one in 2006 and another in 2008 for reading his books); Betty White (in 2012, for If You Ask Me (and of Course You Won't) and even Martin Luther King, Jr. (1971, for Why I Oppose the War in Vietnam). While this isn't as easy as just speaking into a mic in between sips of Champagne and being hand-fed grapes, it's nowhere near as difficult as say, pouring your heart and soul in an album hoping to get some trophies. (Right Beyoncé?) Knowing SERIOUS ARTISTE! Viola though, she's only going to want to do a project that speaks to the passionate flame that burns within her deep and dramatic heart. For Ms. SERIOUS ARTISTE! Viola, this could feel like phoning it in.
2. Make a guest appearance on a A-list artist's track
We love us some Viola but, based on her own admission (that her singing literally caused a dog to attack her) and this interview in which she sings for Peter Travers, she holds a note like most of us hold a tax refund check. (Not long.) But you know as well as I do that singing is hardly a prerequisite to making a great track. All she really has to do is go in the studio with a sure-to-win vocalist ("Hey Adele, girl, WYD?") and hum a few background vocals on a massive tune. BOOM, Grammy.
3. Do a musical and appear on its album
A no-brainer. Viola is right at home on Broadway; this year's Best Musical Theater Grammy winner was The Color Purple. Sure, Jennifer Hudson is listed as one of the principal soloists on the album and Lord knows, nobody is out-singing her. But Viola doesn't have to. She could land an easy-breezy role in, I dunno, The Tupac Story as a schoolteacher or whatever and croon a little bit on the standout track. Listen, if Harvey Fierstein, whose (lovable) voice sounds like a week-long bender in Vegas, could sing in Hairspray Live! surely Viola can push a few Oooh and Aaahs out to get this done.
4. Connect with Lin-Manuel Miranda... for a Harriet Tubman mixtape
Hear me out. Both artists are adored for their work across stage, film and TV and both are missing just that one trophy to make them EGOT. Everybody wants them to win and two of the industry's most revered people (of color!) joining forces is too good to say no to. After Hamilton, Lin-Manuel could really hammer his "making history cool" thing home; Viola is set to play the American hero -- who funneled thousands of slaves from the South into freedom through the Underground Railroad -- in an HBO flick. What better way to follow up on the street-cred cool of the Hamilton mixtape than with a Harriet Tubman mixtape -- featuring Viola spitting a few hot bars alongside some of today's best artists?! You wouldn't even need a label! It worked for Chance the Rapper, didn't it?!
5. Co-write some album notes
Yup, people win Grammys for this. If her speeches are any indication, Viola is a masterful writer. All she needs to do is pen some thoughts for say, the next Miles Davis compilation or maybe some Civil Rights soundtrack. Ding! Grammy.
6. Have her always-inspiring award speeches set to music
Viola can really give a speech. They're practically award-winning by themselves -- grand testaments to the human spirit and what we can overcome yadda yadda yadda. Hearing a Viola Davis awards acceptance speech legit counts as going to church, which is exactly why setting them to music ("Now That's What I Call Viola Davis: Vol. 1") would be a shoo-in for a Grammy. Come on: with lines like these -- "I tried to live somebody else's life, and it does not work... If you own your own story, that is how you live life bigger than yourself. You are enough." -- girlfriend could just repeat them on a New Age or gospel track, which would make her eligible for Best New Age Performance, Best Gospel Performance or Best Gospel Song. Remember that tribute to her hard-working dad in her Golden Globes speech? ("He had a fifth-grade education and didn't know how to read until he was 15.") Add some banjoes and cowbells and, hey, sounds like a Best American Roots Grammy to me, how about you?
If all that sounds silly remember this: she won her Oscar because she's not afraid to game the system. See you at the Grammys, Viola!