Lizzo has been everywhere in 2022, from releasing her fourth studio album Special, to making history by playing James Madison's crystal flute. Now, the “About Damn Time” singer has been recognized for using her platform for good; and true to her style, she decided to further the messages that need it the most. At the 2022 People's Choice Awards, the talented musician received the People's Champion Award, given to someone who works to make the world a better place. As a testament that she lives up to the title, Lizzo brought out and put the spotlight on 17 female activists who work on a wide array of causes during her speech.
Lizzo was introduced by her mom, Shari Johnson-Jefferson, who praised her for being a champion of others. “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,” said Johnson-Jefferson.
Once she took the stage, the singer shared that she wasn't sure about the accolade at first. “When I first heard about this award, I was on the fence about whether I should accept because, if I’m the people’s champ, I don’t need a trophy for championing people,” she said. “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.”
And amplify she did. “I am sharing this honor. Make some noise for the people, y’all. These are all activists and people that I think deserve the spotlight,” said the singer before welcoming the 17 women to the stage. Taking her time, Lizzo named each one of them and presented the causes they work on—such as Indigenous representation, abortion access, transgender visibility, and the Iranian women's fight—while black and white portraits of them were projected on the screens.
The women Lizzo shared the stage with are Mari Copeny, Shirley Raines, Yasmine Aker, Emiliana Guereca, Esther Young Lim, Felicia “Fe” Montes, Jayla Rose Sullivan, Kara Roselle Smith, Maggie Mireles Thomas—whose introduction as the sister of a teacher who died at the Uvalde mass shooting made Lizzo's voice quiver)—Amelia Bonow, Odilia Romero, Tarlan Rabizadeh, Sahar Pirzada, Chandi Moore, Crystal Echo Hawk, Reshma Saujani and Tamika Palmer, mother of Breonna Taylor.
After embracing them all once she was done with the introductions, the room gave them all standing ovations, with the singer leading the praise: “Give them their flowers! Power will always be to the people!”