Lizzo has had an incredible year in 2019, and she's officially capped it off by being named TIME magazine's Entertainer of the Year. The magazine unveiled its yearly accolades on Wednesday, Dec. 11, naming the 31-year-old singer/songwriter/flutist as the most entertaining person around this year. In the accompanying interview, Lizzo mused over how this year became her year after nearly a decade in the industry, crediting a shift in thinking for her newfound success.
"I've been doing positive music for a long-ass time," she explained. "Then the culture changed. There were a lot of things that weren't popular but existed, like body positivity, which at first was a form of protest for fat bodies and black women and has now become a trendy, commercialized thing. Now I've seen it reach the mainstream. Suddenly I'm mainstream! How could we have guessed something like this would happen when we've never seen anything like this before?"
This year, Lizzo released her third album, Cuz I Love You, went on tour to support it, performed at Coachella, the BET Awards, the VMAs and the American Music Awards, earned her first Billboard No. 1 for "Truth Hurts" and was nominated for eight Grammys at next year's ceremony. Despite all of her success, the Michigan native admitted that she still has her struggles.
"From March to … now!" she said with a laugh. "I was experiencing a little bit of unhappiness. I was not happy with the way I felt to my body. I didn't feel sexy, and I didn't know when it was going to end. There were times when I would go onstage and be like, 'Y'all, I'm not going to lie. I'm not feeling myself.' Sometimes I'd break down and cry. Sometimes the audience would just cheer to make me feel better. I was getting sick a lot. I was like, What the f— is going on? I need to fall back in love with my body."
Along with her songs and performances, Lizzo has become known for frequently posting nude photos on social media, earning her praise for her self-acceptance, something that TIME writes "feels revolutionary" for a woman of Lizzo's size.
"I think it's healthy to have a relationship with your naked body, even if no one ever sees it," the singer explained. "But I've always felt the need to share it."
In addition to Lizzo, TIME named Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg as its Person of the Year, and at 16, she's the youngest person ever to receive the honor. The United States Women's Soccer Team was named Athlete of the Year, Disney CEO Bob Iger is Businessperson of the Year and The Public Servants are Guardians of the Year.
Photo Credit: Getty / Rich Fury