Having J.Lo perform a tribute to Motown’s soulful pop legacy was a choice.
The Grammys have a history of inciting controversy, but on Sunday night it wasn’t an award winner or a snub that earned the Recording Academy some heat, but rather the choice to have Jennifer Lopez perform a tribute to Motown with Smokey Robinson and Ne-Yo.
Lopez performed a medley of Motown hits like “Dancing in the Street” and “Please Mr. Postman,” complete with energetic choreography and beautiful, beautiful costumes.
However, some observers were upset by the Grammys’ choice not to have a black female singer perform the soulful pop hits, originally sung by black artists, that made Motown Records and the sound of Motown so distinct:
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
Why was JLo doing the Motown tribute? Did she not thank…Berry Gordy? Was that…Luther Vandross she shouted out at the end? I’m so confused on so many levels
— Wesley (@WesleyLowery) February 11, 2019
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