Even before she hit the Grammys stage to perform a medley of Motown hits, Jennifer Lopez faced criticism. But on Feb. 10, she helped deliver a stunning tribute.
It was a tall order but on Feb. 10, Jennifer Lopez, 49, gave a spirited performance at the Grammys as she paid tribute to the iconic R&B record label, 60 years after it was founded in 1959. The singer kicked off the set by singing “Dancing In the Streets,” the 1964 hit made famous by Martha & The Vandellas and “Please Mr. Postman,” by The Marvelettes. Initially she was dressed like she stepped out of a ‘60s era girl group before whipping off her long black gown to reveal a skimpy, sparkly leotard.
She was later joined on the stage by Motown icon Smokey Robinson, 78, who sang “My Girl,” and host Alicia Keys, 38, who helped her to sing a smooth duet of “Papa Was A Rolling Stone.” All in all J. Lo sang a dizzying number of Motown hits including “War,” and The Jackson 5’s “ABC.” While the pop star sang an array of songs, she mostly gave a breathtaking dance performance, delivering the jaw-dropping, sexy routines that she’s known for. At the end of the medley, which included a guest appearance by Ne-Yo, J.Lo paid her own personal tribute by dedicating her performance to her mom Guadalupe “Lupe” Rodriguez. Before the show, on the red carpet she said that her mom inspired her love of Motown.
Days before the New Yorker took to the stage to sing the medley of hits, The Recording Academy faced a social media backlash for the decision to pick J.Lo to perform the tribute to a beloved black entertainment institution that made Diana Ross, The Jackson 5 and Marvin Gaye household names.
Sports journalist Jemele Hill shared an article about the decision on Twitter and added, “I have questions.” One person tweeted, “Diana is alive. Mary is alive. Stevie is alive. Smokey is alive. So MANY of them are alive,” in response to the news referring, presumably, to R&B legends, Diana Ross, Mary J. Blige, Stevie Wonder and Smokey Robinson. Another music fan was very shady and tweeted, “Jennifer Lopez must be doing a Motown dance tribute.”
— Mike Adam (@MikeAdamOnAir) February 11, 2019
However, the “Jenny From the Block” singer did have online support too. One fan responded to The Shade Room’s Instagram post about the controversy, writing, “She is pure perfection.” Another person defended the singer by writing, “I think she can do anything she puts her heart too Iove. Seen here [sic] live a few times and kills it everytime [sic]. If Chris Brown wanted to sing a Marc Anthony Tribute in the Puerto Rican day parade trust me we would be happy as hell. cause he is also A Legend. That’s all I’m tryna say.”