Jennifer Lopez Passionately Rejects Grammy Motown Backlash

Getty Images Daniel Zuchnik  Getty Images

Getty Images Daniel Zuchnik Getty Images

Berry Gordy, who stood during Lopez's performance, founded Motown Records in 1959. "How do you do a Motown tribute without an ALL BLACK cast of artists?!" another person wondered, adding, "And it's Black History Month too".

So, with all the backlash to her Motown performance, just what did Lopez have to say?

But considering the barriers that black artists from the Motown era faced to get recognition, the choice seems especially thoughtless. "I could cry", Lopez told Entertainment Tonight after the performance, explaining that she grew up listening to Motown hits her mom used to play. J.Lo had previously performed an homage to Celia Cruz, another black performer, at the American Music Awards in 2013; at that time, many felt she should have passed the opportunity on to a black Latina.

"Any type of music can inspire any type of artist.You can't tell people what to love", Lopez said.

Jennifer Lopez performed a medley of Motown classics at the 2019 Grammy Awards on Sunday, belting out a number of old favorites like "Dancing in the Street", "Do You Love Me", "The Things in Life are Free" and more.

"It was for my mom", she told ET. "You gotta do what's in your heart", Lopez shared in her defense.

Her performance comes days ahead of Motown's tribute concert to celebrate the label's 60th anniversary. "[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. We were The Temptations and we [would] just sing with her and I feel it's a dream come true". "Motown was music for everybody".

Robinson even had a message to critics about Lopez' doing the Motown tribute, saying anyone "upset" about it "is stupid", according to Variety. "Everybody", he said, noting the pop star has enough credibility to do the set because she grew up in the Bronx.

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