Jennifer Lopez was recognized for her 20-plus year career spanning acting, music, and entrepreneurship
Jennifer Lopez was named The People’s Icon of 2020 during the E! People’s Choice Awards on Sunday. The four-time People’s Choice Award winner had some beautiful words — especially for girls of “all ages and all colors” looking to walk in her footsteps.
The award was in celebration of her work over her decades-long career, which started in 1997 during her breakout performance playing Selena Quintanilla to, more recently, performing at the 2020 Super Bowl halftime show.
Before her acceptance speech, the mom-of-two was surprised with video messages from Renee Zellweger, Nicole Kidman, and her 12-year-old twins Emme and Max.
“Congratulations my friend. Like everybody watching tonight, I am a fan and I long admired your work and your uncompromising work ethic and your beautiful authentic audacity made of passion, determination, self-respect and courage. If anybody told you why you shouldn’t, you were already busy proving them wrong,” Zellweger said of Lopez.
Kidman sent her message from Australia, saying in part, “You are the true definition of an icon. I have known you for a long time now and I’ve watched you go from strength to strength, but I will never forget bringing my sister to your Vegas show.
“You were just power and love and warmth, so thank you,” Kidman continued. “I send you love and can’t wait to give you a hug when all of this is over.”
Lopez started her acceptance speech with a nod to 2020.
“Man, 2020 was no joke right?” she said. “I mean, before 2020, we were obsessing about winning this award or getting nominated for that award or we were caught up in who sold the most records or box office opening or crazy stuff like did we get the latest drop before anybody else. But not this year. This year was the great leveler.”
Lopez also said the year made her laser-focused on what mattered and what didn’t. For her, what mattered most is, “people, all of us, together.”
“Helping each other, loving each other, being kind to each other,” she continued, “and the importance of that connection, that human touch. I realized that’s what I strive for in everything I do. To reach people, to touch people. I believe that’s what we all want, those shared experiences to know that we’re not in this alone.”
Lopez also talked about being doubted as a “Latina and as a woman” throughout her career and how it made her who she is today. The result is finding herself in position to be a role model for other young girls.
“The true measure is inspiring girls in all ages and all colors, from all over the world, to know you can do whatever want, as many things as you want and to be proud of who you are no matter where you come from,” she said. “I want them to know your dreams are limited only by your imagination, determination and their willingness to never give up.”