Jennifer Lopez Defends Motown Medley Tribute After Facing Backlash: 'It Was for My Mom'

Jennifer Lopez is defending herself from those who say she wasn't the right woman to celebrate Motown at the 2019 Grammy Awards Sunday night.

"It was for my mom. I could cry," Lopez told Entertainment Tonight after the performance, explaining that she grew up listening to Motown hits her mom used to play. "It's such a good moment. It's just a dream come true."

"Singing up there with Smokey Robinson, like, I gotta pinch myself," Lopez said. "I grew up on all those songs and because my mom loved him so much she passed him on to us."

During the precisely choreographed number, Lopez sang a medley of Motown classics, like "Dancing in the Street," "The Best Things in Life Are Free," "Please Mr. Postman" and "Do You Love Me" before she was joined by Grammys host Alicia Keys, Ne-Yo and Motown legend Smokey Robinson, who sang with her for "My Girl."

Robinson defended Lopez from those slamming the Grammy's decision to tap her as the lead for the tribute, telling Variety that "anyone who is upset is stupid."

"I don't think anyone who is intelligent is upset. I think anyone who is upset is stupid," he said Saturday, adding that Lopez has more than enough credibility as someone "growing up in her Hispanic neighborhood" in the Bronx.

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

"The thing about music is that it inspires all. Any type of music can inspire any type of artist," Lopez said on Sunday. "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 Grammy producers and Motown icon Berry Gordy 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 explained, adding she has no hard feelings for those who were less than enthused with her as the leading lady for the tribute. "But for some people, [it wasn't], and that's OK. I'm just very humbled and honored to be able to have sung those songs."


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