Atlanta’s Tyler Perry delivers inspirational speech at the People’s Choice Awards

ATLANTA — Just keep digging. That’s the message Tyler Perry wants people to remember during this trying time.

The Atlanta-native was honored with the People’s Champion of 2020 award at Sunday night’s 2020 E! People’s Choice Awards.

Perry said he has been inspired by underdogs and other people facing hardships who are working to better themselves. So when the pandemic hit, Perry said he wanted to do his part to help keep those people working and achieving their goals.

[People’s Choice Awards 2020: See the complete list of winners]

“I’m so inspired and moved by this moment. I’m grateful. When I think about all these people, these underdogs, some former prisoners in jail for 20 years, one in jail for seven, they always inspire me,” Perry said.

In May, the media mogul reopened his Tyler Perry studios with temporary housing for crew and staff so that they can continue filmmaking and providing his employees with jobs and opportunities.

During his speech, Perry told an inspiring story with the message of just keep pushing through the hard times.

Perry told the story about when he bought a house in Atlanta about 18 years ago, he kept getting extremely high water bills. So he called out an engineer to dig a well on his property.

The engineer kept digging and digging but never hit water. Perry said he got frustrated with all of the work without any resolution that he almost threw in the towel.

But then, after persistence, the engineer and Perry finally hit water.

“In this world, we’re all digging wells. In our lives, we’re digging wells. We’re digging wells in relationships, where we put all this time and effort and energy and sometimes it doesn’t give us what we need. We put all our time and effort and energy in dreams and business and it doesn’t give us what we were after, but if you just keep digging -- my God, if you could just hear me now, keep digging. You may be four inches away from every gift and blessing you ever wanted in your life," Perry said.

Earlier this year, the multi-titled beloved Atlanta resident became a billionaire.

Almost as much as he is known for his entertainment, Perry is also beloved for his charitable contributions to metro Atlanta and the world.

Recently during the pandemic, Perry paid for the groceries of senior citizens shopping during designated senior hours at 44 Kroger locations throughout Atlanta.

Just days prior, he left a $500 tip for each out-of-work server at Houston’s restaurant on Northside Parkway, totaling $21,000.

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