Lopez thanked her children, long-time management team and boyfriend Alex Rodriguez.
The singer and actress also nodded to her fans, whom she said “have touched my heart and my soul and become a part of me.”
“You guys have won me over forever,” she said.
Past recipients of the Vanguard award include Madonna, Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake, and Beyoncé.
Lopez, who has over 80 million records worldwide, according to MTV, is the first Latin artist to receive the award.