Smokey Robinson defends Jennifer Lopez's Motown performance from criticism
American singer-songwriter Smokey Robinson came out in support of singer Jennifer Lopez and defended her performance at the 2019 Grammy Awards.
Following her Motown performance at the event on Sunday, J.Lo faced a lot of criticism from fans who felt that the latin pop singer was not a well-suited choice for the soulful tribute.
Posting a lengthy statement on Instgram, Robinson expressed his support for J.Lo and disagreed with the fans who think she wasn’t the right choice for the segment.
“Attention, all of those of you who protested a wonderful, super talented, world renowned, super star like Jennifer Lopez, showing her love and support for Motown music, here's some food for thought: on the very first day of Motown Barry Gordy told the five of us who were present, 'I'm gonna start my own record company and we're gonna make music for everybody and always be sure to make quality music that the world can enjoy'. And through the Grace of God and hard work and determination, we accomplished that", the artist wrote.
“Kids of all races, worldwide, grew up loving the music of Motown, imitating our acts. Pretending to be Diana Ross, the Temptations, Michael Jackson and so on. Parents were and still are turning their kids on to the music of Motown”, he continued.
Explaining that Motown's reputation for diversity and inclusion is a source of pride for the musician attached to the genre, Robinson asserted that one cannot narrow down the Motown music to just music for “Black people”.
“So now you're going to try to diminish the scope of Motown and narrow it down to just music for Black people and you call yourself defending the image of Motown. Well you're trying to set us back a hundred years”, he wrote.
Further, showering praises for J.Lo, he wrote, “If you call yourself loving Motown, be happy that we reached so many people and broke down so many racial barriers. And that an artist like Jennifer, even after hearing all your negative comments, still loved Motown enough to do the tribute anyway. Now that’s love and respect”, he wrote.
“The beauty of Motown is that we’re a family made up of Black, White, Hispanic, and Asian women and men. We had a very diverse employee roster. So I hope knowing these few facts helps you get your perspective together and think about the hate you’re spreading,” he concluded.
Reacting to the criticism she was subjected to after her performance, Jennifer argued that ‘music inspires it all’.
During an interaction with Entertainment tonight, the singer said, “Singing up there with Smokey Robinson, like, I gotta pinch myself. I grew up on all those songs and because my mom loved him so much she passed him on to us”.