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Jennifer Lopez calls for unity in powerful People’s Choice Awards Icon speech

Jennifer Lopez says 2020 taught her what ‘matters most’ during E! People’s Choice Award speech.

Addressing viewers at Sunday’s People’s Choice Awards after emotional introductions from Armie Hammer, Nicole Kidman, Renée Zellweger, and her children, Jennifer Lopez — the freshly anointed recipient of the ceremony’s 2020 Icon Award — spoke on using her platform as a Latina woman to unite the country and empower young girls around the world.

“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 on who sold the most records or who had the biggest box office opening… but not this year. This year was the great leveler that showed us what mattered and what didn’t,” Lopez said. “For me, 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. 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: Those shared experiences to know that we’re not in this alone.”

Lopez continued by thanking her family and fans for lifting her up out of the darkest places in her career as well as her personal life.

“As a Latina and as a woman, sometimes we have to work twice as hard… sometimes my big dreams and ambitions made the people around me nervous. People would say, ‘You’re a dancer, you can’t be an actress… you’re an artist, you won’t be taken seriously as a businesswoman.’ The more they said I couldn’t, the more I knew that I had to.”

She also said that such experiences have in turn inspired her to measure true success “not in box office numbers or records sold, but for the love I feel from all of you, and the true measure is in inspiring girls of all ages and all colors to know you can be anything you want and do as many things as you want and be proud of who you are, no matter where you come from.”

Lopez closed her speech by sending a wish for Americans “to heal as a country and stand together united, proud, and in harmony.”

Lopez accepted the award following one of the most successful stretches of her career, which kicked off in June 2019 with the launch of her It’s My Party solo world tour, continued through her Golden Globe-nominated turn in Lorene Scafaria’s critically lauded drama Hustlers(atop the film’s $158 million global haul at the box office), and saw the release of several Spanish-language singles (including her recent two-part Maluma collaboration ″Pa’ Ti″ and ″Lonely″).

On the horizon, Lopez is set to star opposite Owen Wilson in the rom-com Marry Me, which opens on May 14 in theaters, and will co-headline the action-comedy Shotgun Wedding next to Hammer.

During the awards ceremony, Lopez also aired a commercial for her upcoming J.Lo Beauty skincare and cosmetics line, which she promised will stress women’s “limitless” potential, and that “beauty does not have an expiration date.”

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