Jennifer Lopez's inspiring message to 'girls of all ages and all colors' during People's Choice Icon speech

Kylie Mar
·Host & Producer, Yahoo Entertainment
·5 min read

Jennifer Lopez delivered a moving speech at the E! People's Choice Awards Sunday, where she was honored as the People's Icon of 2020, in which she shared how this year has been "no joke."

"This year was the great leveler," said Lopez. "It showed us what mattered, what didn't, and for me, reinforced what matters most — people. All of us." Lopez went on to explain the importance of human connection and touch, and to always remember that "we are 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," Lopez shared.

Lopez also thanked the fans for allowing her to perform in front of them for all of these years, especially "as a Latina woman."

"We have to sometimes work twice as hard to get the opportunity," Lopez explained. "Sometimes my big dreams, and my ambitions, it made the people around me nervous. You know, people would say, 'You're a dancer, 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.'"

Lopez continued, saying, "The more that they said I couldn't, the more that 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."

Finally, Lopez shared, "The true measure is in inspiring girls of all ages and of all colors from all around the world to know that you can be anything you want, and do as many things as you want. And to be proud of who you are no matter where you come from. I want them to know their dreams are limited only by their imagination and determination and their willingness to never give up. If I have touched you or them in any small way, then this is the greatest award I could ever receive. I accept this award with great humility and gratitude and with the hope that we can begin to heal as a country and stand together united and proud and in harmony."

Other notable award winners included Tracee Ellis Ross, who won the 2020 Fashion Icon award and spoke to the viewers about the power of clothes, as she stated, "Use fashion as an entrance. Let your clothes be your superhero cape, allowing you to be the best you you can be. Activate the clothes through your joy and commitment to the world that you want to see. It doesn't matter if you wear a black tie or a Black Lives Matter T-shirt, but suit up and show up because our action creates our destiny. Our joy creates space for our freedom.”

Tyler Perry was also honored Sunday night as the 2020 People's Champion. Perry delivered arguably the most inspiring speech of the night. In fact, viewers were so inspired by Perry's speech, that many of them took to Twitter quoting Perry's speech.

The People's Champion shared a personal story about an engineer, whom he hired to dig a well in his yard. After digging a hole 1,000 feet deep, Perry decided to have the engineer give up. However, the two soon learned that, had he not given up, the engineer would have never realized that he was only four inches away from finally finding a water source. Perry explained, "In this world, we're all digging wells. In our lives, we're digging wells. We're digging wells in relationships, where we put all this time and effort and energy and sometimes it doesn't give us what we need."

Perry continued, "But if you just keep digging, my God, if you could just hear me now, just keep digging, you may be four inches away from every gift and blessing you ever wanted in your life. Had I given up when I was homeless, when I was sleeping in my car, when I was hungry, had I given up, these people that you see on the screen right now would not be part of my dream. There are people who are tied into your dream and your destiny, and you are worthy of getting to your goal. Keep digging, don't stop."

Perry concluded, "Listen to me. When you get there, when you get to that water and see it coming, and know you have what you need, this is what I want you to always remember. Make sure that everybody you run into meets you at your worth."

E! People’s Choice Awards originally aired Sunday November 15th at 9 p.m. on E!

Watch Ellen Degeneres crediting her staff and thanking fans for ‘sticking by her’ after winning the People’s Choice award for “Best Daytime Talk Show”:

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