Why Are People Criticizing Jennifer Lopez's Motown Tribute at the 2019 Grammys?

Lewis Collier
February 13, 2019

"Everybody", he said. "Who's stupid enough to protest Jennifer Lopez doing anything for Motown?". Motown was a black-owned record label that put out music by predominantly black artists like the Supremes, the Temptations, Stevie Wonder, and Marvin Gaye. "How do you do a Motown tribute without an ALL BLACK cast of artists?!"

Lopez performed "Please Mr. Postman" while wearing a black ensemble with white feathers and accompanied by a group of dancers.

When asked how she felt about the backlash she was already copping in the days leading up to her performance - which also included a duet with legendary singer Smokey Robinson - Lopez said that Motown and music in general belongs to everybody.

Lopez continued, while getting emotional, "Any type of music can inspire any type of artist ... You gotta do what's in your heart", Lopez shared in her defense. "I grew up on all those songs and because my mom loved him so much she passed him on to us". "[The Grammys organizers] know how much I have been influenced by that music and so it was a natural fit for them", she noted. "For some people, [it wasn't], and that's okay. I could cry. It's such a good moment". "I'm just very humbled and honored to be able to have sung those songs".

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Despite Robinson's comments, an outpour of folks fired shots at Lopez's performance during the 61st annual Grammy Awards on Sunday, taking offense to just about every aspect of the tribute including Lopez's sparkled-covered costumes. He came out to perform alongside Lopez and before the show, he addressed the controversy.

Even Smokey had his say where he told Variety: 'I don't think anyone who is intelligent is upset. "Motown was music for everybody". At one point, he mouthed, "Wow".

Motown fans who were disappointed with Sunday's tribute might be more pleased with the Recording Academy's upcoming celebration of Motown.

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