The 34-year-old spent the entire duration of her acceptance speech introducing the activists and highlighting the different causes they support.
With a moving acceptance speech at the People's Choice Awards 2022, singer-songwriter Lizzo demonstrated why she was the "People's Champion." The award was given to the 34-year-old, whose real name is Melissa Viviane Jefferson, for both her contributions to music and television as well as her activism on behalf of diversity and inclusion. Even as she accepted the award—presented to her by her mother—the "About Damn Time" singer used the platform to once again demonstrate why how deserving she is of the honor. "Imma be honest, when I first heard about this award, I was on the fence about whether I should accept," she said, reports Billboard. "Because, if I'm the people's champ, I don't need a trophy for championing people. You know what I'm saying?"
"I'm here tonight because to be an icon isn't 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 continued. "So, tonight, I am sharing this honor."
The singer then went on to introduce 17 activist women from all walks of life and spent the entire duration of her acceptance speech, highlighting the different causes they support. According to PopSugar, among the activists who joined Lizzo on stage was Amariyanna Copeny (also known as Little Miss Flint), who has been fighting for everyone to have access to safe drinking water in Flint, Michigan, and across the nation and Maggie Mireles, who is combating gun violence in schools in memory of her sister Eva Mireles, a teacher who died defending students during the Uvalde, Texas, school shooting.
Also present was Yasmine Aker, an Iranian-American actress and activist who is utilizing her platform to raise awareness of the ongoing demonstrations in Iran following the death of Mahsa Amini, reports SBS News.
Another activist praised by Lizzo was Tamika Palmer, the mother of Breonna Taylor, the Black medical worker who was shot and killed by police officers during a botched raid on her apartment in March 2020. Taylor's death galvanized the Black Lives Matter movement and Palmer has continued to advocate and seek justice for her late daughter through The Breonna Taylor Foundation.
The other activists included Mari Copeny, Shirley Raines, Emiliana Guereca, Esther Young Lim, Felicia 'Fe" Montes, Jayla Rose Sullivan, Kara Roselle Smith, Amelia Bonow, Odilia Romero, Rabbi Tarlan Rabizadeh, Sahar Pirzada, Chandi Moore, Crystal Echo Hawk and Reshma Saujani.
Lizzo urged the crowd to give the activists "their flowers" and "follow them and support them" as she concluded her speech by declaring: "Power will always be to the people." According to Variety, in a press release announcing Lizzo being recognized with the award, Cassandra Tryon—the senior vice president of entertainment live events for NBCUniversal Television and Streaming—said: "[Lizzo] leads with kindness, advocates for inclusivity and champions increased diversity and equity in the industry and beyond. Her commitment to breaking barriers and empowering others to use their own voices to create change makes her a true 'People's Champion.'"
The "Am I Ready" singer was also nominated in five other categories at the People's Choice Awards: social celebrity of 2022, song of 2022 for "About Damn Time", female artist of 2022, album of 2022 for "Special" and competition show of 2022 for "Lizzo's Watch Out For the Big Grrrls." Lizzo bagged the song of 2022 award and accepted it with a short speech.