Jennifer Lopez knows how to wow a crowd. The 52-year-old singer took the stage at Tuesday’s iHeartRadio Music Awards in Los Angeles, and delighted the audience with a performance of some of her biggest hits.
Billy Porter kicked things off by announcing Lopez in true “Pose” fashion, yelling out, “The word for tonight is ‘icon, legendary, mesmerizing, show stopping,'” before using the stage as his own personal runway. There, Porter was met by a bevy of drag stars who hit the catwalk in some of J.Lo’s most iconic looks — from her green Versace dress to her Super Bowl LV halftime look.
Lopez then appeared on an elevated stage wearing a long, white faux fur coat by Adrienne Landau, which read “equality.” The multi-talented artist got the crowd going with a performance of “On My Way,” before she ditched the jacket and unveiled a sparkly black Roberto Cavalli jumpsuit. Next up, Lopez sang “Get Right,” before showing off her dance skills for the audience. The performance had everyone from Halsey and Olivia Rodrigo to Iris Apatow and Willow Smith dancing and clapping for the triple threat.
Lopez closed out the show with a firework display that was fitting for the icon.
The epic performance from the Shrine Auditorium came after Lopez was honoured with the 2022 iHeartRadio Icon Award, which celebrates and honours the recipient’s impact on pop culture, longevity and continued relevance as a touring and radio force with a loyal fan base worldwide.
During her acceptance speech for the prestigious award, Lopez, who was dressed in a gorgeous olive green gown by Stephane Rolland, said that while the accolades are great, she does it all for the fans.
“I wish I could tell you that awards were the most important thing to me. But that’s not true. And don’t think that I don’t appreciate the shining sparkling things. I do. I cannot lie. Everybody knows I do. This isn’t why I do this,” Lopez began. “It’s not what matters the most to me. I really do it for you guys. I do. Because the love you give me and the appreciation and the kindness, and the way you let me into your lives. Even in a small way.”
“That’s what matters to me the most. Because of you I get to do what I love the most in life,” she continued. “And that is the most wonderful blessing. That’s a gift you give me. And I just want to say thank you for that. Thank you. To everyone, thank you to everyone who comes to a show. Streams a song. Sees a movie. Follows me. You guys are the ones who give me the opportunity every day to live a life I couldn’t even imagine would come true when I was a little girl growing up in the Bronx.”
Lopez went on to thank the fans for giving her the chance to live out her biggest dreams, something she said she will never take for granted.
“You did that. You did that for me. You made that dream come true. I’m shaking and I will always be grateful to each and every one of you for that. And I will never forget it. And I will never ever take it for granted,” Lopez added as she continued to pay tribute to her fans. “So, I want to say thank you to everyone of you for believing in me. When other people didn’t. Even when I didn’t. Thank you for teaching me. Thank you. Thank you for teaching me who I really am.”
“Icon. ICON — ‘I Can Overcome Negativity,’ and so can you, every single moment!” she said, concluding the emotional speech. “And let me tell you something else — I’m just getting started. I love you!”
Fellow celebs and fans weren’t the only ones cheering Lopez on. The “Love Don’t Cost a Thing” singer had her boyfriend, Ben Affleck, in the audience. Affleck, who attended the show with Lopez’s daughter, Emme, smiled and clapped for Lopez as she cemented her icon status in the iHeartRadio history books.
— iHeartRadio (@iHeartRadio) March 23, 2022
This year’s host, LL Cool J, was all for Lopez being honored with the trophy. In fact, ahead of the ceremony, he told ET why the multi-hyphenate star is more than deserving of the award.
“She’s made such a huge contribution to culture, done so much, accomplished so much in so many different genres. She deserves it,” he explained. “She is an icon, it’s true.”
As for what makes her an icon, the rapper said that it all comes down to “being true to who she is, coming from her heart, never forgetting where she came from.”
“When you’re true to who you are and true to what you really believe in as an artist, it shines through,” he said. “Even through the peaks and valleys, you can survive, and succeed, and thrive because of that truth, that inner truth, using that as a compass.”
When it comes to the rest of the show, LL Cool J promised ET that there’d be “a lot of excitement” all night long.
“All of the artists [are] being celebrated. It’s not even so much about the competition on this show, but more about just the artists being celebrated,” he said. “All of them have had great years for different reasons, different genres, so it’s good. It’s exciting.”
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