Raising The Bar
YOU South Africa|3 December 2020
Jennifer Lopez’s Icon award is a nod to the barriers she’s broken as a singer, dancer, actress and businesswoman
Nasifa Sulaiman

Hollywood history is littered with stars who shine bright for a bit then fizzle out faster than you can say, “What happened to . . .?”

But that can’t be said of Jennifer Lopez. She’s the former fly girl ruling the box office, the movie star dominating the music charts and the girl from the Bronx taking over the beauty and fashion world.

More than two decades after she had her first leading role as the queen of Tejano music, Selena Quintanilla, in 1997, JLo has become an icon in her own right.

This much was cemented recently when she received the icon award at the 2020 E! People’s Choice Awards – and a slew of stars sang her praises.

“Every step she took was the opposite of traditional and she pursued her dreams full force and never waited on somebody else to give her permission,” actor Armie Hammer said when he presented her with her prize.

Long-time friend Nicole Kidman called her the “true definition of an icon” and Renée Zellweger said Jennifer has known how to push boundaries all over the place for decades.

“I long admired your beautiful authentic audacity made of passion, determination, self-respect and courage. If anybody told you why you shouldn’t, you were already busy proving them wrong,” Renée said.

High praise indeed – and it made Jennifer pretty emotional. She broke down as she accepted her gong in front of her 12-year-old twins, Emme and Max, and reflected on the global trauma of 2020.

“This year was the great leveller that showed us what mattered and what didn’t,” she said. “For me, what mattered most: people. All of us, together, helping each other, loving each other, being kind to each other. And I realise it’s what I strive for in everything I do – to reach people, to touch people,” she said.

Jennifer also spoke about having to work twice as hard as a Latina woman and convince people in her circle it was a good thing to have big dreams.

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM YOU SOUTH AFRICAView All

TWINKLE, TWINKLE LITTLE STAR

From music and acting to modelling and social activism, these kids of celebrity parents are blazing their own trail

8 mins read
YOU South Africa
7 January 2021

A BREATH OF FRESH AIR

Meet Jill Biden – mother, gran, professor, prankster and the next first lady of the United States

5 mins read
YOU South Africa
7 January 2021

Everest – officially (a little) higher

LAND surveyors from China and Nepal have finally agreed on the new official height of Mount Everest, the world’s highest mountain peak.

2 mins read
YOU South Africa
7 January 2021

Miley Cyrus

Her latest release, Plastic Hearts, is the singer at her most sincere

2 mins read
YOU South Africa
7 January 2021

Peanutbutter-licious

Is your little one nuts about peanut butter? These before and after-school treats are sure to be a hit with young and old

5 mins read
YOU South Africa
7 January 2021

Chadwick Boseman

The late actor can now be seen in his final movie

2 mins read
YOU South Africa
7 January 2021

ALONE AGAIN AT 87

After the collapse of her third marriage author Emsie Schoeman has decided she no longer wants a man in her life

5 mins read
YOU South Africa
7 January 2021

Snail Facial - Great Way To Rejuvenate Your Skin

Fans of the snail facial say it's great way to rejuvenate your skin

4 mins read
YOU South Africa
7 January 2021

‘THERE'S NO PAUSE BUTTON'

After 40 years in showbiz and half a dozen kids Alec Baldwin has earned a rest. Instead, at 62, he’s busier than ever

5 mins read
YOU South Africa
31 December 2020

The Workbench

The one thing that’s taken so much time away from this family might just bring them closer than ever

8 mins read
YOU South Africa
31 December 2020