By Ariel Scotti / February 11, 2019

Jennifer Lopez Defends Heavily Criticized Grammys Motown Tribute

The Latina singer-actress dedicated the performance to her mom.

After taking the Grammys stage at the Staples Center in Los Angeles Sunday night to honor the stars of Motown, Jennifer Lopez stepped up to the mic to rebut critics offended by the performance.

“The thing about music is that it inspires all,” Lopez told Entertainment Tonight. “Any type of music can inspire any type of artist. You can’t tell people what to love. You can’t tell people what they can and can’t do, what they should sing or not sing. You gotta do what’s in your heart.”

She added that Motown producer Berry Gordy and producers of the 61st annual show, were “thrilled” about her involvement. “They know how much I have been influenced by that music and so it was a natural fit for them,” she said. 

Many viewers at home took to Twitter to express their dissatisfaction with the decision to have the 49-year-old Latina singer-actress perform a dedication to a predominantly black record label. Suggestions of having black performers like Gladys Knight, Stevie Wonder, Patti Labelle, Jennifer Hudson, Tina Tuner or “practically anyone else” were lobbied to take Lopez’s place.

“J. Lo better not salsa her way to the cookout because she is uninvited for that terrible performance,” preacher Jared Sawyer Jr. tweeted on Sunday. “How do you do a Motown tribute without an ALL BLACK cast of artists?! And it’s Black History Month too.”

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