From the moment it was announced that the very talented Jennifer Lopez would perform a Motown tribute at Sunday’s 2019 Grammys, people started questioning why she was chosen for the occasion, instead of, say, a black singer influenced by Motown’s classic style. Well, J. Lo’s actual performance probably didn’t quell anyone’s concerns, pairing as it did hits like “Dancing in the Street” and “Please Mr. Postman” with salsa dancing and some nude sequined leotard looks. Twitter, as you might expect, didn’t hesitate to weigh in, declaring the set more of a tribute to Jennifer Lopez than to Motown itself. And the VMAs literally just did that in August!
But if there’s one person who loved J.Lo’s participation, it was her performing partner, actual Motown legend Smokey Robinson. “I don’t think anyone who is intelligent is upset,” the singer told Variety when asked about the controversy. “I think everybody who’s upset is stupid.” Declared Robinson, “Motown was music for everybody. Everybody.”