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It’s the beginning of the year and if you’re like me, this is one of your favorite times of the year. Yep, you guessed it, it’s AWARDS season! Of the major award shows, the first to air live was the Peoples Choice Awards this past Wednesday.

The 2012 People’s Choice Awards show was one for the record books. More votes were recorded than ever before, thanks to fans being able to vote via the Twitterverse. Also, several new award categories were added, including the Icon Award.

Nominees for the Icon award included Robert De Niro, George Clooney, Tom Hanks, Harrison Ford and Morgan Freeman. With the award being the first of its kind, the category could have easily been a toss-up. For that reason, when Morgan Freeman was announced the winner, he was genuinely surprised.

Here’s what he had to say:

“When I found out that I’d been nominated for the first-ever People’s Choice movie icon award, I decided to look up ‘icon,'” Freeman said. “Here’s what I found: The first definition said an icon is a tiny picture on a computer screen that represents a file.”

Freeman then continued read off several other definitions and then came to the last definition: “A person or thing that represents something”.  He concluded his acceptance speech with… “If I represent something, here’s what I hope it is: to all of you who were kind enough to vote for me, I hope I represent a working actor who is forever grateful for this honor.”

(AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)Chris Pizzello

As the inaugural PCA Icon Award winner, Mr. Freeman is also, by default, the first African American recipient as well.

See the full speech here: