It was an over-the-top Grammy tribute to the best of Motown, and Jennifer Lopez was the star of the show, as she blew through some of the most epic tunes created during this legendary era of music and also teased what fans can expect during an upcoming 60th-anniversary special honoring the musicians that made the music iconic.
Prior to Lopez’s performance, there was a backlash on social media by those who believed she should not have been the singer to honor the greatest music artists of that era since she did not allegedly have a direct connection to the music.
But in fact, she did.
In fact, the singer/songwriter and dancer revealed to Entertainment Tonight after her show-stopping performance that her connection runs deep with the music and performers of that time. Her mom Lupe is a big fan and she dedicated the performance to her, a woman who is one of the biggest influences in her life.
“It was for my mom. I could cry. It’s such a good moment. It’s just a dream come true,” Lopez said to the news outlet shortly after leaving the stage. She then explained that one of her greatest childhood memories was listening to Motown music during her childhood.
During the tribute, Lopez sang hits such as “Dancing in the Street,” “Please Mr. Postman,” and “My Girl,” which were accompanied by several costume changes.
“They [Grammy execs.] know how much I have been influenced by that music and so it was a natural fit for them,” Lopez said to Entertainment Tonight. “But for some people, [it wasn’t], and that’s okay. I’m just very humbled and honored to be able to have sung those songs.”
Some on Twitter were not having it and they took to the social media outlet to voice their own opinions about the performance, criticizing Grammy execs for not allowing other prominent black female artists to band together to honor the music.
Dear #GRAMMYs Out of Anita, Beyonce, Lalah, India, Kelly Rowland, Latoya, Keyshia, Mary, Rihanna, Toni, Mariah, Monica, Brandy, Jill, Thee Diana, Faith, Patti, Gladys, Jennifer Hud, Jasmine Sullivan, Fantasia, Tamar, Kelly Price you get Jennifer Lopez to do Motown? Insulting. pic.twitter.com/Fs0xaN96lO— Is Your Activism Inclusive? (@2speak_easy) February 6, 2019
No shade, JLo is truly a great artist, but let's be real, this wasn't her performance to give. Plenty of other black artists could have been given this platform and moment and we need to acknowledge that. #GRAMMYs— Pero Like (@BFPeroLike) February 11, 2019
Prior to Lopez’s performance, Smokey Robinson, who had a duet with Lopez during the tribute, stood up for the triple threat in a statement to Variety, which was reported on the outlet’s Twitter feed. Robinson had a few words for critics of the performance.
“I don’t think anyone that is intelligent is upset. I think anyone who is upset is stupid,” the legendary singer claimed.
Including Lopez’s performance, the night was filled with other must-see moments as well, such as Alicia Keys’ medley (as she played two pianos at once) of songs that influenced her. Also included was a surprise appearance by former first lady of the United States Michelle Obama, who spoke of the positive impact music has had on her, as well as moments that honored legendary singers, such as Diana Ross and the late Aretha Franklin.