As the first Grammy award given out during the first Grammys telecast of the 2020s, the Best Pop Solo Performance presentation had a bit of prestige to it to begin with. And given this year’s field of nominees, it felt even more momentous. That’s why when Lizzo stepped onstage to accept the award near the start of the show on Sunday night (January 26), her words rang out throughout the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
Choking back tears and looking visibly shaken, one of 2019’s biggest breakout stars still looked right at home with a golden gramophone in her hand. “This whole week, I be lost in my problems, stressed out, and then in an instant, all of that can go away and your priorities really shift,” she said, “and today, all my little problems that I thought were big as the world were gone.”
She was gracious as she shouted out the other musicians, artists, producers, writers, and more in the room as well even as she celebrated her win for “Truth Hurts.” “You guys create beautiful music, you guys create connectivity,” she said. “This is the beginning of making music that moves people again and music that liberates people.”
Lizzo would know a thing or two about that. Her 2019 debut album Cuz I Love You felt like an announcement, though she’s been making music for the better part of the past decade. It took a few key planet-aligning moments for her 2017 “Truth Hurts” to go supersonic last year, but when it did, Lizzo became a cultural phenomenon. Before the ceremony began airing, she had already collected two awards, one for Best Traditional R&B Performance and one for Best Urban Contemporary Album.
In the category, she beat out Beyoncé‘s inspiring Lion King soundtrack cut “Spirit,” Billie Eilish‘s offbeat pop monster “Bad Guy,” Ariana Grande‘s dazzling “7 Rings,” and Taylor Swift‘s celebratory anthem “You Need to Calm Down.”
During her speech, Lizzo made sure to thank all the creative people who helped her get to where she is now, including her collaborator Quinn Wilson, and said if it wasn’t for those folks by her side, she might be “sleeping in [her] car.” She concluded with a passionate call: “Thank you so much for lifting me up. Let’s continue to reach out, hold each other down, and lift each other up.”
Her win also came mere minutes after her rousing performances of “Cuz I Love You” and “Truth Hurts” to open the show.
See all of MTV News’s 2020 Grammys coverage right here.