Last week when the Recording Academy announced Jennifer Lopez would be performing a Motown tribute at the Grammy Awards, soul music fans flooded Twitter with questions like, why? What connection does Jenny From the Block have to Motown? And where is Smokey Robinson?
Well, Smokey was there Sunday night, but he wasn’t able to rescue what one fan described as an “inappropriate” tribute to the legendary music label Berry Gordy Jr. founded in Detroit in 1959.
After being introduced by Smokey and Grammys host Alicia Keys, Lopez strutted on stage and belted out a string of Motown classics, including The Jackson 5’s Dancing Machine, Dancing in the Streets from Martha & The Vandellas, Papa Was a Rolling Stone from The Undisputed Truth and Teena Marie’s Square Biz.
At one point, Ne-Yo sang and played the piano while Lopez performed what appeared to be a salsa dance — we’re not sure — but we do know it wasn’t anything The Jackson 5 or Martha & The Vandellas would have done.
The audience at the Staples Center in Los Angeles gave Lopez a standing ovation at the end of the energetic performance, but Twitter users were having none of it.
“Bruh. Nothing about that performance screamed Motown. WHO HIRED HER?????” one person tweeted.
“I like J.Lo and all but…. How you gonna do Motown like that in black history month????” another person asked.
“The Grammys could’ve found a better artist(s) to do that tribute,” someone else wrote.
Check out the reactions below.
The word that comes to mind re: the Motown tribute is "inappropriate." I didn't know they did all that salsa dancing down at the Hitsville, child.
— Naomi Shambles (@LikeaStar1032) February 11, 2019
People who could've done the Motown tribute:
Or practically anyone else #GRAMMYs
— Jared Sawyer Jr. (@JaredSawyerJr) February 11, 2019
— Christina Watkins (@CWatkinsWDSU) February 11, 2019
She’s going to lip sync all the way through this Motown tribute?
Oooo, chile… ???????????????????????????????????
— jarrett dewayne hill (@JarrettHill) February 11, 2019
J Lo dancing, all those dancers and theatrics that’s not MOTOWN. I don’t care what anyone says. The Grammys could’ve found a better artist(s) to do that tribute
— shannon sharpe (@ShannonSharpe) February 11, 2019
— Cacao ?? (@OhWho_OhLu) February 11, 2019
— Kyle J. Ruggs (@K_Ruggs) February 11, 2019
— Joshua Chenault (@joshuachenault1) February 11, 2019
— Go with da fro (@_Harvi3_) February 11, 2019