Actress-singer Audra McDonald made Broadway history tonight when she won her 6th Tony Award for playing Billie Holiday in Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill.
Her win makes McDonald the only woman to ever earn six Tony Awards.
“I want to thank my mom and dad up in heaven for disobeying the doctor’s orders and not medicating their hyperactive daughter and finding out what she’s into instead,” said McDonald.
McDonald also took a moment to thank the “strong and brave and courageous” African-American women who came before her.
“I am standing on Lena Horne’s shoulders,” she said. “I am standing on Maya Angelou’s shoulders. I am standing on Diahann Carroll and Ruby Dee, and most of all, Billie Holiday. You deserved so much more than you were given when you were on this planet. This is for you Billie.”
Her previous wins include Best Actress in a play for A Raisin in the Sun and Master Class, Best Actress in a Musical for The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess and best featured actress in a musical for Ragtime and Carousel. McDonald has also won two Grammys.