Jennifer Lopez received a huge honor at the People’s Choice Awards this year, winning the coveted Icon Award.
The star was named The People’s Icon of 2020 during the awards show on Sunday, where she presented with the honor by fellow actor, Armie Hammer.
The Latina Powerhouse winner received the honor in celebration of her work over her decades-long career, which includes highlights like portraying Selena Quintanilla back in the 1997 biopic Selena, to performing at the 2020 Super Bowl halftime show earlier this year.
Before her acceptance speech, the star was surprised with video messages from some of her closest friends, Renee Zellweger and Nicole Kidman.
“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 in her video message. ”And if anybody said, ’Well you know that’s just not really how it’s done,’ you challenged into what you had imagined how exactly it’s done. You have been pushing boundaries all over the place for decades and this past year, with Hustlers and your shows and your music and your family and your advocacy, empowering women and your unbelievable Super Bowl halftime show — well you just raised the bar into the stratosphere! You are a triple-threat creative visionary, you are an inspiration and you are certainly an icon. Congratulations on this award you are certainly an icon.”
After listening to the touching messages from her colleagues, Lopez got some support from her 12-year-old twins, Emme and Max, who also sent some encouragement as they supported their mom on stage.
After that, Lopez gave her own speech, which was filled with emotion as she reflected on her career and how much of a toll 2020 took on us all.
“Man, 2020 was no joke right?” she began. “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,”
She continued, “It showed us what mattered, what didn‘t. And for me, reinforced what mattered most: People, all of us, together. Helping each other, loving each other, being kind to each other. 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. 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, friends, my babies and my fans, you guys, who have lifted me up when I couldn’t lift myself. I am so grateful to have you, to have that in my life.”
“As a Latina and as a woman, we have to work twice as hard to get the opportunities, sometimes my big dreams and my ambitions, it made the people around me nervous,” Lopez shared, getting emotional. “‘You can’t be an actress. You’re an actress, what you want to sing? You’re an artist, you won’t be taken seriously as a businesswoman.’ The more that 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.”
You can watch her entire speech for yourself down below.