Jennifer Lopez as the headliner of the Grammys tribute to Motown Records left many scratching their heads, and then they saw what she did with it.
Twitter had very strong opinions about the Grammys unexpected choice of Jennifer Lopez to headline their tribute to Motown, a famously black label featuring black artists. Most of those opinions are not great.
It was an unusual choice not just because Lopez is not a black artist, but because her style and sound as a musician are absolutely nothing like anything that came out of Motown. The house that Barry Gordy built was home to soul, jazz and r&b, while J.Lo is a Latin-infused pop star.
She even brought high-energy salsa to her performance, leading many on social media to feel like this tribute missed the mark completely. It seemed to some that it was more about celebrating J.Lo than anything Motown represented.
As further evidence of that, J.Lo stripped down to a sequined leotard. It may be one of her signature looks, but there are no Motown artists that would have ever worn anything like that. The tribute was to celebrate a specific era of music and a specific style and presentation, and Lopez just didn’t represent any of that.
Beyond that, there was a far bigger and simpler question that Twitter users were asking. Why did they not choose a black artist to celebrate this famously black label that was so important and influential in helping African-American artists break into the mainstream.
What Motown did for black artists was monumental and groundbreaking, and laid the foundation for so many that have come since. And there are so many amazing black artists out there today that could have killed a Motown tribute performance. Ne-Yo was there, but only briefly.
There are also plenty of actual, original Motown artists still active and killing the game. Smokey Robinson again got just a few moments, while J.Lo carried the bulk of the performance.
If all of that wasn’t bothersome enough for many Twitter users — and it was — many of them felt that Lopez was lip-syncing through this performance, so not only did they see it as an inappropriate and tone-deaf tribute to what Motown represented, it wasn’t even a live tribute.
Below are some of Twitter’s most heated reactions:
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