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Jennifer Lopez Accepts the Icon Award at the People’s Choice Awards 2020

Let’s get loud! Jennifer Lopez accepted the Icon Award at the 2020 People’s Choice Awards on Sunday, November 15. The “Love Don’t Cost a Thing” singer was honored for doing it all — singing, dating and acting — throughout her three-decade-long career. She is also a producer, designer and mom of two.

Related: Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez’s Relationship Timeline

Lopez was first surprised by two video messages from her pals 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. “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.”

Jennifer Lopez Icon Award E! People's Choice Awards 2020
Jennifer Lopez, People’s Icon of 2020, accepts the award onstage for the 2020 E! People’s Choice Awards held at the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, California and on broadcast on Sunday, November 15, 2020. Christopher Polk/E! Entertainment/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Kidman, for her part, said: “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 … I send you love and can’t wait to give you a hug when all of this is over.”

Lopez then took the stage and opened up about the rough time that so many have experienced this past year. “Man, 2020 was no joke right? 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. 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,” she said. “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.”

She then shared an inspiring message to young girls. “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. ‘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 it,” she continued. “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.”

Jennifer Lopez Icon Award E! People's Choice Awards 2020
Jennifer Lopez, People’s Icon of 2020, attends the 2020 E! People’s Choice Awards held at the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, California and broadcast on Sunday, November 15, 2020. Todd Williamson/E! Entertainment/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

She added: ”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. I want them to know your dreams are limited only by your imagination, 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 hope we can begin to heal as a country and stand together united and proud, and in harmony.”

Lopez shared her excitement over the honor ahead of the show, tweeting, “Thank you thank you!!!! So honored!!!!!” in September.

The Hustlers actress is the third recipient of the PCAs Icon award following, Jennifer Aniston in 2019 and Melissa McCarthy in 2018. She has been nominated for 14 solo PCAs, winning twice. During her time as an American Idol judge, the show earned two PCAs wins.

Related: Jennifer Lopez's Ageless Moments Through the Years

The “Lonely” singer has been busy in November, having accepted the Pop Culture Innovator award at WSJ. Magazine’s 2020 Innovator Awards on Wednesday, November 11.

“From very young, I never wanted to be put in a box,” she said during her heartfelt speech. “I wanted to be smart, and athletic, and sweet, and tough and a tomboy but also very glam. That’s why I became an actress and a performer because you get to be a lot of different things.”

The World of Dance judge noted that she has always stayed true to herself throughout her career.

“When I first came on the scene, I wasn’t trying to be the size zero model or say I wasn’t Latin and change my name. I was Jennifer Lopez. I had a big butt. I embraced that,” she said. “But I didn’t want to just be the Latin actress or the one who played those types of roles. I wanted to do different roles.”

Lopez told her fans that she hopes everyone understands that “you’re limitless.”

Related: Exes Who Attended Awards Shows: From Jen and Brad to Selena and Justin

Earlier this year, the Shades of Blue alum check another major accomplishment off her bucket list when she performed at the Super Bowl in February.

“We worked so hard,” the Wedding Planner actress said on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon after taking the Super Bowl LIV halftime stage. “We started working on my set in November, and it was just every single day. So much goes into that moment. It’s hundreds of people. They put that stage together, and then you get on it, and then you rock. It’s such a big deal. I’m just glad everybody liked it!”

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