Grammys 2019: Smokey Robinson Comes to Jennifer Lopez's Defense Before Motown Tribute

Before Jennifer Lopez took the lead on the Motown tribute at the 2019 Grammy Awards, there was some controversy surrounding the pick. Living legend Smokey Robinson defended her though.

"I don't think anyone who is intelligent is upset," Robinson told Variety Saturday night at Clive Davis' annual pre-Grammy gala. "I think anyone who is upset is stupid."

Robinson said Lopez has more than enough credibility to perform the songs as someone "growing up in her Hispanic neighborhood" in the Bronx. But he pointed out that Motown music was made for everyone.

"Motown was music for everybody. Everybody," Robinson said. "Who's stupid enough to protest Jennifer Lopez doing anything for Motown?"

Robinson joined Lopez on the Staples Center stage Sunday night to mark the 60th anniversary of the legendary record label. Lopez, Robon and Ne-Yo ran through "Dancing in the Street," "Please Mr. Postman," "Money (That's What I Want)," "Do You Love Me," "ABC," "My Girl," "Papa Was a Rollin' Stone," "War," "Square Biz" and "Another Star."

While Robinson defended Lopez, fans were not exactly impressed on Twitter as the tribute unfolded Sunday night.

One fan suggested Lionel Ritchie should have taken part.

Another viewer called it a "pop tribute" instead of a true Motown tribute.

Lopez was not nominated for a Grammy this year, and surprisingly only has two nominations in her career. In 2000, "Waiting for Tonight" was nominated for Best Dance Recording. "Let's Get Loud" was nominated in the same category in 2001.

This year marks the 60th anniversary of Motown Records' establishment in Detroit by Barry Gordy Jr. Some of the many musical legends who recorded for the label include The Temptations, Diana Ross and the Supremes, Stevie Wonder, The Jackson 5, Robinson and the Miracles and Marvin Gaye.


Photo credit: Lester Cohen/Getty Images for The Recording Academy