It wasn’t a surprise to see Jennifer Lopez receiving backlash for her Motown tribute at the Grammys. Her performance was extraordinary and something we’d expect to see at her Las Vegas show. However, it was quite disconcerting that a black performer — or performers — didn’t get tasked with the honor. People on social media went off about this misrepresentation. Her performance included singing “Dancing in the Street,” “Please Mr. Postman,” and “Do You Love Me.”
@DrDeAunderia tweeted: “Somebody has to help me understand why J.Lo is doing a Motown tribute?! Don’t we have artists from the label still living?? Come on KEM, Ne-Yo, Erykah Badu, shoot… Diana Ross! 🤦🏾♀️ @RecordingAcad #Grammys.” @ItsIsabelBedoya said: “Why would they pick Jlo to tribute Motown, I’m Latina and wouldn’t want a non latina singer pay tribute to Selena, Celia Cruz, or any Latina legends. Plus it’s black history month???? The Grammys need be more respectful of their decision.”
Now Lopez is responding to people saying she shouldn’t have done the tribute. In an interview with “Entertainment Tonight,” Lopez said that the music of Motown is beloved by all, and it shouldn’t matter who sings their music.
“The thing about music is that it inspires all,” Lopez told the TV program “Any type of music can inspire any type of artist. You can’t tell people what to love. You can’t tell people what they can and can’t do, what they should sing or not sing. You gotta do what’s in your heart.”
"Any type of music can inspire any type of artist… You can't tell people what to love. You can't tell people what they can and can't do — what they should sing or not sing." An emotional Jennifer Lopez responds to her critics backstage after her #GRAMMYs Motown tribute. pic.twitter.com/1dK3OEs9OH
— Entertainment Tonight (@etnow) February 11, 2019
At the end of her performance, Lopez gave her mother a shoutout and said: “That was for you Lupe.” She told ET that she dedicated the show to her mom: “It was for my mom. I could cry. It’s such a good moment…It’s just a dream come true.”
Smokey Robinson, who performed a bit with Lopez at the Grammy’s said that anyone who is feeling disdain over Lopez’s tribute to Motown is “stupid.”
“I don’t think anyone who is intelligent is upset,” he told Variety. “I think anyone who is upset is stupid.” He also added, “Motown was music for everybody. Everybody. Who’s stupid enough to protest Jennifer Lopez doing anything for Motown?”
Perhaps he should post that question on Twitter. In case you didn’t catch it, here’s her performance below. Let us know what you think.