Lizzo was awarded two trophies at the 2022 People’s Choice Awards on Tuesday night including song of the year for her chart-topping “About Damn Time.” Yet it was her People’s Champion honor that resonated with the crowd and audiences watching.
Her mother Shari Johnson-Jefferson presented the award to her 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 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.”
As the Grammy winner accepted the trophy, she admitted that at first she was “on the fence about accepting” the award “because if I’m the people’s champ, I don’t need a trophy for championing people.”
Lizzo added, “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.”
The People’s Champion honoree then welcomed 17 activists to the stage that “deserve the spotlight.” As each activist shared the stage with the singer-songwriter, Lizzo championed each person’s impact and work. As they all gathered togehter, Lizzo called on the crowd to “give them their flowers.”
The activists 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.
Following a run of shows in the U.K. and Europe, Lizzo will launch her second North American leg April 21 at the Thompson-Boling Arena in Knoxville, Tennessee. Her new reality show, Watch Out for the Big Grrrls, won the Emmy for Outstanding Competition Program in September. Lizzo’s new documentary about her life and career, Love, Lizzo, is now streaming on HBO Max.