Jennifer Lopez has no time for complaints that she, and not an African-American artist, was the lead of the Grammys’ tribute to Motown on Sunday night.
“The thing about music is that it inspires all. Any type of music can inspire any type of artist,” the 49-year-old singer told Entertainment Tonight after her performance. “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. You gotta do what’s in your heart.”
The choice of Lopez to headline the performance — which saw her singing a medley of the label’s classics like “Dancing in the Street,” “Please Mr. Postman” and “Do You Love Me” — has been a source of controversy since it was first announced and again Sunday after it finally aired.
But one particular Motown legend doesn’t know what the big fuss is about, and had harsh words for anyone criticizing Lopez. Smokey Robinson, who joined Lopez on stage Sunday, defended her during a pre-Grammy gala on Saturday.
“I don’t think anyone who is intelligent is upset,” he told Variety. “I think anyone who is upset is stupid … Who’s stupid enough to protest Jennifer Lopez doing anything for Motown?”
Another reason Lopez might have been able to get past all the criticism is that she dedicated the performance to an important person who made her such a fan of the label’s music in the first place — her mother.
“It was for my mom,” she told ET. “I could cry. It’s such a good moment. … It’s just a dream come true.”
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