Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Motown Responds to Critics of Jennifer Lopez’s Grammys Tribute

Jennifer Lopez’s Motown Tribute at Grammy Awards

*Black Twitter wasted no time expressing their rage over the Grammys Motown tribute featuring Jennifer Lopez. Many questioned why The Academy of the Recording Arts didn’t call on a legendary urban/R&B artist to represent the historic label.

As we previously reported, Motown OG Smokey Robinson came to Lopez’s defense prior to her hitting the Grammys stage on Sunday night.

“I don’t think anyone who is intelligent is upset,” he told Variety. “I think anyone who is upset is stupid.”

Robinson made the comment to Variety’s Marc Malkin outside Clive Davis’ pre-Grammy gala on Saturday. The legendary singer/songwriter/producer also performed alongside J.Lo, said she had more than enough credibility “growing up in her Hispanic neighborhood” in the Bronx. But it’s more than that he reminded.

“Motown was music for everybody. Everybody,” he repeated.

“Who’s stupid enough to protest Jennifer Lopez doing anything for Motown?” he asked.

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#Repost @jloxjenny • • • • • @jlo & Smokey Robinson #grammys #jlo #jenniferlopez #motown

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Meanwhile, R&B/Motown enthusiasts are pissed that Lopez reportedly lip-synced over classic Motown tracks with Robinson.

One Twitter user wrote: “Umm i could have thought of about a million other artist better for this performance other than @JLo.”

While another commented: “Jennifer Lopez is doing the Motown tribute and when Janelle Monae [sic] is right there and I just don’t understand the creative decision.”

Lopez on Sunday responded to the criticism she received for participating in the Motown tribute at this year’s Grammy Awards ceremony.

“Any type of music can inspire any type of artist,” she said to Entertainment Tonight’s Kevin Frazier. “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.”

 

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aw she’s so happy? U did it mama u did phenomenal @jlo #jenniferlopez #jlo #youdiditmama

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“There are SO many Motown artists who are alive and well, so why aren’t these artists performing in the Motown tribute?” one viewer asked.

“Motown was an historically black label and the bulk of that Motown tribute was by Jennifer Lopez,” another critic said.

After J-Lo’s performance, Motown updated the label’s Twitter account noting its cultural relevance, writing: “FROM ITS ROOTS 60 YEARS AGO WITH BERRY GORDY, $800, AND A DREAM, MOTOWN DOESN’T JUST PUT OUT INFLUENTIAL MUSIC—IT TRANSFORMS THE CULTURAL LANDSCAPE. MOTOWN DOESN’T RESPOND TO THE CONVERSATION—IT SETS THE AGENDA. #MotownDidItFirst”

The label also posted then deleted the following…

motown, lopez

Check out more reactions below to JLo’s Motown tribute at the Grammys.

 

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I don’t know how many of you caught the #Grammys last night, but one of the most controversial moments even days before the award show aired was the decision for @jlo to perform a 6 minute #Motown tribute. Although she had help from the likes of Smokey Robinson, Neyo and Alicia Keys, many people questioned why J Lo, a Latina woman, would be chosen to commemorate such a legendary, iconic, and very BLACK music group. To know the history of Motown, you understand that Berry Gordy founded the group with the intent to publish and OWN the music Black artists created. This was the definition of self determination. So needless to say, J Lo’s performance didn’t sit well with many who questioned why a Black woman wasn’t chosen to perform the tribute. Personally, I tried to give the performance a chance, but the truth is, I squinted through most of it, my shoulders tense, and my soul crying for Fantasia. I mean, I desperately wanted to see at least ONE Diana wig. And where were the FASHIONS? The SOUL? What did you all think of the performance and backlash? If not J Lo, who would you have liked to see take the stage? #karmajonezknows

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#Repost @jloxjenny • • • • • YAASS @jlo & @neyo #jlo #motown #grammys2019 #grammys #jenniferlopez #neyo #awesome

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Ny MaGee
Ny MaGee is a screenwriter and freelance reporter from Chicago -- currently living in Los Angeles and covering A-list entertainment for various outlets, including Emmys.com. She has worked for: Miramax, MTV & VH1, The Jim Henson Company, Hallmark Channel, Paramount Pictures, and for iconic indie film producer Roger Corman.

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1 COMMENT

  1. Valerie Simpson who WROTE and sang many of the songs and is still a great live performer was sitting in the audience smh. Why are folk crying for Janelle Monae (who performed already), Fantasia, and others? Maybe there’s a little ageism here, too?

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