“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,” explained Johnson-Jefferson before bestowing her daughter with the golden trophy.
“Melissa has always been herself, 100% that chick 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.”
The “Good As Hell” singer then delivered a speech of her own.
Accepting the trophy, the 34-year-old singer was happy to share the stage. The Grammy Award-Winning singer invited 17 activists and community leaders to share the spotlight.
“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.”
Standing alongside Lizzo included Mari Copeny, Shirley Raines, Yasmine Aker, Emiliana Guereca, Esther Young Lim, Felicia “Fe” Montes, Jayla Rose Sullivan, Kara Roselle Smith, Maggie Mireles Thomas, Amelia Bonow, Odilia Romero, Tarlan Rabizadeh, Sahar Pirzada, Chandi Moore, Crystal Echo Hawk, Reshma Saujani and Tamika Palmer.
Lizzo was first announced as the People’s Champion recipient in November by NBC and E!. She 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.
“Lizzo is not only an incredibly talented performer and groundbreaking entertainer, she is also a role model and inspiration to fans worldwide. She leads with kindness, advocates for inclusivity, and champions increased diversity and equity in the industry and beyond,” expressed Cassandra Tryon, SVP, Entertainment Live Events, NBCUniversal Television, and Streaming, in a press release.
On the same night, Lizzo was also awarded the trophy for Song of 2022 for “About Damn Time.” Watch the acceptance speech below.