By Okla Jones
SANTA MONICA, CA — The 2022 People’s Choice Awards was definitely one to remember. Hosted by Kenan Thompson for the second year in a row, this year’s ceremony was held at the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, California, and featured the best in music, film, television, and podcasts.
“I’m beyond excited to host the People’s Choice Awards again this year and celebrate the incredible talent and fans that this show unites,” said Thompson in a statement to NBC. “I’m so grateful to be nominated – shoutout to the fans and congrats to all the nominees. Get ready for round two!!”
In what was a star-studded event, many of the Black celebrities in attendance were Laverne Cox, Karamo Brown, Jessica Betts and Niecy Nash, Kel Mitchell, and more. Pose star Billy Porter presented Shania Twain with the “Music Icon” Award, 3-time NBA Champion Dwyane Wadeannounced the “Male Movie Star of 2022,” and comedian Lil Rel Howery gave out the evening’s second big award, the People’s Icon Award to Ryan Reynolds.
At about 10:30 pm, Shari Johnson-Jefferson, Lizzo’s mother, presented the 3-time Grammy winner with the most notable honor of the night, the People’s Champion. “She’s a champion of others, she builds you up and is always in your corner,” Johnson-Jefferson began. “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.”
After a brief montage of the Michigan-born entertainer’s amazing year, Lizzo then walked out to the stage and delivered a powerful speech. “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,” she said. “And ever since the beginning of my career, I’ve used my platform to amplify marginalized voices, so tonight I am sharing this honor. Make some love for the people, ya’ll.” Lizzo then highlighted activists across several practices, including abortion rights, domestic violence, the situation in Flint, and more. The final activist that Lizzo spoke about was Tamika Palmer, the parent of Breonna Taylor.
The night undoubtedly belonged to the Special singer, because she also brought home the PCA’s final award, the “Song of the Year” for her hit single, “About Damn Time.”