Smokey Robinson and Jennifer Lopez perform during the Grammys Motown tribute; Monty Brinton/CBSTell Jennifer Lopez not to worry about the people hating on her Motown tribute performance at the Grammys. She’s got a Motown legend in her corner.
Smokey Robinson — who, granted, was part of the performance — says the people insisting there should have been a black or Motown artist in J-Lo’s place are way off base.
In a lengthy Instagram statement, 78-year-old Robinson, who with The Miracles was one of the very first acts signed to Motown, says in part, “Kids of all races, worldwide, grew up loving the music of Motown… So now you’re gonna try to diminish the scope of Motown and narrow it down to just music for black people and call yourself defending the image of Motown. Well you’re trying to set us back a hundred years.”
After defending Lopez, whom he calls a “wonderful, super-talented, world-renowned super star,” Smokey says, “Stop hating. Motown united people, not divided them. So don’t call yourself loving Motown if you’re a hater… J Lo was great and we at Motown love her.”
Robinson expanded on his comments in an interview with TMZ founder Harvey Levin, declaring in part, “We broke down racial barriers with music. …kids all over the world…have grown up patterning themselves or imitating Diana Ross and Michael Jackson and The Temptations and all the Motown artists. All ethnicities, you know what I mean? So to confine Motown to just being something that only black people can represent or be a part of is just a stupid philosophy to me.”
For her part, J-Lo so far has refrained from commenting, at least on social media.
Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.