Emmy and Grammy award-winning singer, songwriter, rapper and actor Lizzo was awarded the People’s Champion honor at the People’s Choice Awards which aired live on NBC and E! on Tuesday, Dec. 6.
Lizzo was “recognized for her groundbreaking contributions to music and television, as well as her commitment to championing overall diversity and inclusivity across race, gender, sexuality, and size,” according to Deadline. At the ceremony, Lizzo’s mother Shari Johnson-Jefferson introduced her famous daughter.
“When I think of Lizzo the word champion comes to mind,” she said. “She’s a champion of others, she builds you up and she’s always in your corner. I should know because I’m her mother. Melissa has always been herself, 100% that chic and she has shown us all that we don’t have to conform to anyone’s standards in order to be happy, to be creative and to feel worthy. I know that Lizzo has literally saved lives. No one is more deserving of this honor and I’m so proud of her.”
When Lizzo took to the stage, she said that she initially hesitated about accepting the honor “because if I’m the people’s champ, I don’t need a trophy for championing people.” She continued, “To be an icon is not about how long you’ve had your platform. Being an icon is what you do with that platform. And ever since the beginning of my career, I’ve used my platform to amplify marginalized voices.”
Lizzo saluted Amariyanna Copeny (aka Little Miss Flint), who’s been fighting for safe drinking water in Flint, MI, and other cities around the world; Maggie Mireles, who’s became an advocate fighting gun violence after her sister Eva Mireles, died protecting students during the Uvalde, TX, school shooting, and more.
During the speech, she brought all 17 of the activists–mostly women–on stage to be honored. She named every member of the group and asked the audience to give them their “flowers.” The group included human rights advocates, freedom fighters, artists and more. She also condemned “senseless and despicable gun violence that has become far too common.”
Lizzo concluded her speech saying, “Power will always be to the people. Thank you so much People’s Choice. Follow them, follow them and support them.”
Watch the powerful moment below.