Jennifer Lopez is not only an American Idol judge… She’s also an American icon…
The 44-year-old singer/actress and current judge on Fox’s reality singing competition received the 2014 Icon Award at Sunday’s Billboard Music Awards, which were broadcast live from Las Vegas’ MGM Grand Garden Arena.
“You continue to break down barriers and inspire girls,” Rihanna said in a video montage, which included other noted artists, including Britney Spears, Ricky Martin, Pitbull and Taylor Swift, sharing their thoughts on la Lopez and her remarkable career.
Before accepting the award from presenters, Ricky Martin and Iggy Azalea, Lopez took the stage for the second time in the night to offer a live debut performance of “First Love,” the second single from her upcoming album A.K.A.
Lopez kept the audience on her feet as she stepped back onto the stage to receive the Icon Award. “Oh my God! What the heck?” Lopez said as she held the award. “Music has always been my first love.”
She continued to thank God, her fans, family, friends, management (Benny Medina), Latinos (“para mi gente“) and wished for the “little ones” who were watching from home to follow their dreams.
Lopez is the first women to receive the BBMA accolade. Past winners of the Icon Award include Neil Diamond, Stevie Wonder and Prince.
Earlier in the night, Lopez took the stage with long-time collaborator and friend Pitbull and Claudia Lette, to premiere the official anthem of this year’s FIFA World Cup, “We Are One (Ole Ola).”