LOS ANGELES (AP) — Jennifer Lopez turned the Motown tribute into the J-Lo show.
The Latin singer-actress hit the Grammys stage on Sunday inserting her energetic dance-pop flavor into memorable Motown melodies such as “Dancing Machine” and “Dancing in the Street.”
She faced backlash on social media for her lead participation in a tribute recognizing a historic African-American record label.
Some online questioned why a black artist wasn’t chosen instead of Lopez, but she received support from Smokey Robinson, who joined her in a duet to perform “My Girl,” a song he co-wrote. She then briefly teamed up with Alicia Keys on “Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone” and sang “Another Star” with Ne-Yo, who played the piano.
JLo is an amazing artist… who I love! But she was not right person for the Motown tribute… and the salsa dance near the end of her performance proved that. Name 1 Motown artist who salsa danced. #GRAMMMYs #jlo #Motown
— Karamo Brown (@Karamo) February 11, 2019
— The Extraordinary Xilla (@BlogXilla) February 11, 2019
They really got JLo lip syncing Motown’s finest songs like there’s not 1000 black women with R&B vocals ready for this moment #GRAMMMYs
— Sylvia Obell (@SylviaObell) February 11, 2019
Lopez performed “Please Mr. Postman” while wearing a black ensemble with white feathers and accompanied by a group of dancers. She also sported a sparkling bodysuit during “Money (That’s What I Want).”
After she finished, she told the crowd that she was “grateful” to be here tonight.
Lopez said she dedicated her performance to her mother. The 49-year-old singer said she grew up on Motown music through her mom, listening to different artists such as The Temptations and The Supremes.
Her performance comes days ahead of Motown’s tribute concert to celebrate the label’s 60th anniversary. The tribute takes place Tuesday at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.
Berry Gordy, who stood during Lopez’s performance, founded Motown Records in 1959. The record label was home to numerous music artists including Robinson, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Michael Jackson and Diana Ross.