By LESLIE ANNE DOMINIQUE
Uh Oh! Did the Grammys really just do that? On Sunday’s biggest night in music, Jennifer Lopez graced the stage to perform a tribute in honor of Motown Records at the 61st annual Grammy Awards, and fans were not impressed.
Lopez took the stage took the stage to perform hits such as “Dancing in the Street,” “The Best Things in Life Are Free,” “Please Mr. Postman” and “Do You Love Me?” She also joined Smokey Robinson in a performance of “My Girl.” While, the performance was entertaining, her style of dress and salsa dancing had no relation to the Motown label.
For those who have been missing for the past century, Motown Records is a legendary Detroit record label known for popularizing Black music. Motown is responsible for the success of legends such as Diana Ross, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye and, you guessed it, Michael Jackson. So maybe it can be understood why Motown fans were surprised to see Lopez parading the Staples Center stage in full leotard, to honor the label.
Fans took to Twitter to complain about the disaster. Many questioned why in Black History Month, on the eve of Motown’s 60th anniversary, would the Grammy’s choose Lopez, instead of a successful African American artist, to perform. Motown is a staple in the Black community and generated the first genuine respect for Black artists, thus the decision to choose Lopez was not fully thought through.
In response to all the controversy, Lopez spoke to “Entertainment Tonight” saying, “The thing about music is that it inspires all. Any type of music can inspire any type of artist. You can’t tell people what to love.” She went on to say, “It was for my mom. I could cry. It’s such a good moment. It’s just a dream come true.” Many find J-Lo’s defense to be sub- par.
Talented she may be, the Lopez Motown medley simply missed the mark and overshadowed the success and legacy of Motown Records.
This story has been widespread throughout the news media, being reported by various outlets. Some sources, such as The Grape Vine, reported rather harsh on Lopez and claimed that her performance gentrified the Motown genre. Whereas, “Entertainment Tonight” and many others defended J-Lo’s performance, not understanding the significance of the performance. Many commended her performance, missing the point of the entire backlash.