J. Lo Defends Performing Grammys Motown Tribute After Backlash & Reveals Why She Did It

J. Lo nailed her Motown tribute performance at the Grammy Awards, but some thought she wasn't the best gal for the job. Now, she's defending her performance. Here's what she had to say!

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Jennifer Lopez Motown Tribute
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Jennifer Lopez, 49, belted out a medley of Motown classics at the 2019 Grammy Awards, and after an onslaught of backlash, she revealed why she signed on for the tribute to the legendary label. “It was for my mom. I could cry. It’s such a good moment,” Lopez shared in an interview with ET. “It’s just a dream come true. Singing up there with Smokey Robinson, like, I gotta pinch myself,” Lopez said. “I grew up on all those songs and because my mom loved him so much she passed him on to us.” She elaborated in a separate statement to E News. “I grew up with this music and me and my sisters, the three of us, we were, like, the backups. We were The Temptations and we just sing with her and I feel it’s a dream come true,” she said of the performance.

The songstress took to the stage to perform a high-energy mashup of Motown classics at the annual awards show. The lineup of songs included “Dancing in the Street,” as well as “The Best Things in Life Are Free,” before diving into a rendition of “Please Mr. Postman.” As she nailed “Do You Love Me,” among others, J. Lo enlisted a few friends for her tribute performance as well. The singer was joined by the likes of Motown legend Smokey Robinson, and R&B hit-maker Ne-Yo. 2019 Grammys show host Alicia Keys joined J. Lo onstage as well!

J. Lo undoubtedly brought the heat with her fiery performance, but it didn’t come without a bit of backlash. Motown fans felt that the performance would have been best served by a black singer, given that the tribute was dedicated to a lineup of all black artists. Twitter caught fire with viewer feedback. “@RecordingAcad I don’t understand how you could #whitewash #MotownTribute w/ @JLo. We like her well enough but not for this. There are literally 1000s of black musicians that would have performed. This is why #Motown was formed because black artist couldn’t get a chance,” one person wrote on Twitter.

Jennifer Lopez Motown tribute

However, a few had J. Lo’s back, and Smokey himself defended the decision to have Jennifer perform. He shut down haters, saying, “anyone is upset is stupid,” in an interview with Variety.  The legendary musician was just happy to see Motown’s music take the spotlight at the 2019 ceremony. “You know it is a tribute to Motown and that is what is beautiful to me!” he said to HollywoodLife, at the big show.