This year’s People’s Icon Award went to Jennifer Lopez.
The multi-talented celebrity was presented the prestigious award during the 2020 E! People’s Choice Awards. It was presented to her by Armie Hammer who told the crowd, “Jennifer Lopez has always looked at the world and thought why not. Why not have a former fly girl rule the box office? Why can’t a bona fide movie star dominate the music charts? And why not be a little girl from the Bronx who conquers the fashion and beauty world? And why not become a global icon?”
He continued, “Without many role models to guide her along the path, Jennifer inadvertently became one. Every step she took was the opposite of traditional and she pursued her dreams full force and never waited on somebody else to give her permission. Jennifer doesn’t just know how to learn to do something, she masters it she’s audacious and brave and never stops. Yet as her co-star and friend, I know her greatest strength is her generosity. Jennifer leads with compassion and kindness and her joy for life is contagious, no matter how far she’s come, she’s still that same girl, Jenny from the block. Your 2020 People’s Icon, Jennifer Lopez.”
Meanwhile, Renee Zellweger also greeted her with a message, “I’m a fan and I have long admired your work and uncompromising work ethic and beautiful, authentic audacity may your passion, vision, determination, self-respect and courage. You’ve been pushing boundaries all over the place for decades and this past year with Hustlers and shows and music and family and advocacy empowering women and unbelievable Super Bowl halftime show, you raised the bar into the stratosphere you are a triple threat creative visionary, you are an inspiration and you are certainly an icon.”
Nicole Kidman also shared a special message saying, “You are the true definition of an icon. I have known you for a long time now and watched you go from strength to strength, but I will never forget bringing my sister to your Vegas show, you came off stage after two hours and Benny was standing there, I said, ‘Are you sure she’s okay, don’t want to interrupt,’ he’s like come on in, and you were standing there as though you could go on again, mom there, kids there, friends there, and you were just power and love and warmth.”
Finally, her twins Max and Emme delivered their message of love and congratulations to their mom which almost moved her to tears.
Finally, it was time for the icon to deliver her own speech. “Oh, my god 2020 man, 2020 was no joke, right? I mean, before 2020 we were obsessing about winning this award, getting nominated for that award, we were caught up on who sold the most records or who had the biggest box office opening or crazy stuff… This year was the great leveler. It showed us what mattered, what didn’t and for me, reinforced what matters most—people.”
She continued, “Helping each other, loving each other, being kind to each other. And the importance of that connection, that human touch and I realize it’s what I strive for in everything I do, to reach people, to touch people. I believe that’s what we all want, shared experiences, to know that we’re not in this alone. Your belief and your faith in me motivates me to keep going and sometimes when I’m tired or beaten down like a lot of us have been this year, it’s my family, my friends, my babies and my fans, you guys, who have lifted me up when I couldn’t lift myself.”
J. Lo added, “And I’m so grateful to have you, to have that in my life. Thank you. I approach my work and career the same way I approach my life. I lead with love, I feel with my heart and I always try to speak with truth, in telling stories, singing songs and performing, I do so with the purpose of bringing a little happiness, creating beauty and inspiring others to do the same.”
She said, “I have seen and I have learned a lot and I am still learning, and I want to thank you and tell you how much I appreciate you for letting me do that in front of you all of these years. As a Latina and as a woman, we have to sometimes work twice as hard to get the opportunity. Sometimes my big dreams and my ambitions made the people around me nervous people would say you’re a dancer, you can’t be an actress. The more they said I couldn’t, the more I knew that I had to. So now here I stand, so very grateful, knowing that the true measure of my success is not in box office numbers or records sold but from the love that I feel from all of you and—yes, I feel it.”
Jen Neal, General Manager of E! News, Live Events & Lifestyle Digital, first announced that Jennifer Lopez was the 2020 Icon last September 30. She said in a statement, “Jennifer Lopez has an unmatched global appeal and for more than two decades, has given us some of the most iconic, unforgettable performances of all time. For paving the way for artists around the world and single-handedly increasing Latinx representation in music, film, television, and fashion, we’re honoring Jennifer Lopez with The People’s Icon of 2020.”