Christina Aguilera Receives Music Icon Award at 2021 People's Choice Awards: 'Thank You for Fighting'

"I have always strived for my music to communicate messages of empowerment," said Christina Aguilera in her acceptance speech after performing a medley of her songs

Christina Aguilera
Photo: Alberto Rodriguez/E! Entertainment/NBCUniversal/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty

She's a music icon, baby!

On Tuesday, Christina Aguilera was honored with People's Choice Awards' first-ever Music Icon award, which she received from her "Pa' Mis Muchachas" collaborator Becky G. The 24-year-old praised Aguilera's instantly recognizable voice in presenting her with the award.

Prior to accepting the prize, Aguilera, 40, performed a medley of some of her hits — iconic throwbacks and new offerings — while completing several outfit changes.

She said in her acceptance speech directly after singing that it was "an exceptional honor" to receive the "surreal" award.

"I have always strived for my music to communicate messages of empowerment, whether it's speaking my own truths or giving voice to those unable to do so on their own," continued Aguilera. "My artistry has always been for the fighters in this world, for those who face adversity, for those wanting to evoke change, my music is for you."

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"Believing in yourself is often the biggest obstacle of all, and throughout the years I've heard your stories about the impact of songs like 'Beautiful,' 'Fighter,' 'Can't Hold Us Down,' and yes, even 'Dirrty.' Thank you for your stories," she added. "Thank you for listening. And thank you for fighting. You inspire me every day."

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Last week, NBC announced that she would be honored with the award as executive Jen Neal called the songstress "the voice of our generation."

"She not only has an extraordinary voice, but as a creator, produces music that evokes true emotion and resonates across so many different demographics," Neal said in a press release. "Christina is an idol and we cannot wait to celebrate her successes and present her with the inaugural 'Music Icon' award."

This is Aguilera's second awards show since releasing the lead single off her upcoming record. She last attended the Latin Grammys, where she performed "Pa' Mis Muchachas" with Becky G, Nicki Nicole and Nathy Peluso.

Aguilera has been nominated for several People's Choice awards in the past. She took home the "People's Voice" special achievement award at the 2013 awards show. That year, Aguilera performed "Blank Page."

The songstress spoke to PEOPLE over the summer about what it's like to make Spanish music again.

RELATED VIDEO: Christina Aguilera Still Feels a 'Heavy Amount of Guilt' Looking at Her Career as a Child Star

"This album is a coming-full-circle moment for me. It's been something I've wanted to do for so many years. I have an amazing team behind me that's so supportive," she said at the time. "I've been in music for a really long time, but there's nothing like being around Latin musicians and artists, the energy they bring to the table, the love and the passion they just bring and exude."

"I actually am reinspired by music all over again, making this album," she added.

For this year's People's Choice Awards, F9 leads the film categories with eight nominations, while This Is Us tops the TV categories with six nominations. Justin Bieber received 10 music nominations. When Demi Lovato hosted last year's ceremony, BTS were the biggest winners with four awards.

While Aguilera will receive the Music Icon award, Halle Berry is set to receive the People's Icon award. Cardi B will present it to her.

The 2021 People's Choice Awards — hosted by Kenan Thompson — are airing simultaneously on NBC and E!.

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