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Actress-turned-singer Jennifer Lopez gave a tribute to Motown at the Grammy Awards on Sunday night, prompting immediate backlash on social media due to her being Puerto Rican, not black.

According to HuffPost, “Lopez, who had drawn criticism even before the awards show for being tabbed to celebrate a black record label during Black History Month, received additional online disapproval for her medley performance. She sang classics like ‘Do You Love Me’ while donning several outfits in an act with Smokey Robinson and others.”

Radio host Mike Adam tweeted, “Wikipedia should just delete @JLo’s age… like, leave it blank. N/A.”

https://twitter.com/MikeAdamOnAir/status/1094803266876203008

TV host Jared Sawyer Jr. was perhaps the most scathing in his critique of Lopez’s tribute, saying that its having happened during Black History Month only added insult to injury.

“J. Lo better not salsa her way to the cookout because she is uninvited for that terrible performance. How do you do a Motown tribute without an ALL BLACK cast of artists?! And it’s Black History Month too,” he tweeted.

He continued, “People who could’ve done the Motown tribute: Gladys Knight, Stevie Wonder, Patti Labelle, Jennifer Hudson, Tina Turner, Or practically anyone else.”

Another user tweeted, “Sorry everyone, but I agree. She’s a great performer, but they should have chosen someone else. No doubt Latinos would be upset if they had a black soul singer doing a tribute to Latin music.”

Another tweeted, “@RecordingAcad I don’t understand how you could #whitewash #MotownTribute w/ @JLo. We like her well enough but not for this. There are literally 1000s of black musicians that would have performed. This is why #Motown was formed because black artist couldn’t get a chance.”

In response to the criticism, Lopez later told Entertainment Tonight that Motown Records founder Berry Gory “was thrilled” to have her sing the tribute, knowing fully well that her music had been influenced by Motown songs.

“Any type of music can inspire any type of artist … You can’t tell people what to love,” she said. “You can’t tell people what they can and can’t do — what they should sing or not sing.”

Prior to her performance, singer Smokey Robinson defended Jennifer Lopez, saying that Motown transcends race.

“I don’t think anyone who is intelligent is upset,” Robinson told Variety before the event. “I think anyone who is upset is stupid.”

“Motown was music for everybody. Everybody,” he repeated. “Who’s stupid enough to protest Jennifer Lopez doing anything for Motown?”

Of course, Jennifer Lopez is just another singer to fall victim to the cultural appropriation enforcers, who have put everyone from Justin Timberlake to even Bruno Mars in their crosshairs. In an episode of The Grapevine last year, SJW Seren Sensei said that Mars plays up his racial ambiguity (he’s Filipino, Puerto Rican, and Jewish) so that he can cross genres.

“Bruno Mars 100% is a cultural appropriator. He is not black, at all, and he plays up his racial ambiguity to cross genres,” writer and activist Seren Sensei said. “What Bruno Mars does, is he takes pre-existing work and he just completely, word-for-word recreates it, extrapolates it. He does not create it, he does not improve upon it, he does not make it better. He’s a karaoke singer, he’s a wedding singer, he’s the person you hire to do Michael Jackson and Prince covers. Yet Bruno Mars has an Album of the Year Grammy and Prince never won an Album of the Year Grammy.”

Fortunately, the singers usually have a cadre of fellow artists (black or white) defending them, and Mars had no shortage of them.

Shaun King said at the time: “I just want to be practical here. Are people saying that Bruno Mars shouldn’t sing? Or that when he sings, he needs to somehow whiten that shit up and sound more like Rod Stewart. I’m dead serious. What type of music is this man ‘allowed’ to do?”

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9 Comments

9 Comments

  1. Cas

    February 12, 2019 at 7:50 am

    Some people see race in everything. So, she can’t sing any Motown songs because she’s not black? Newsflash, Puerto Rico has a lot of black population. You do you JLo, who cares what they say!

  2. Fred Sheehan

    February 12, 2019 at 8:16 am

    It sounds like the critics are, themselves, promoting racist opinions By doing so, they perpetuate racism that they evidently only pretend to abhor. I have dismissed their opinions completely due to their apparent inability to process any logical thought. Well, the medium being used to express such opinions is named TWITter. Should we not expect TWITs on TWITter.

  3. Laurie

    February 12, 2019 at 8:54 am

    That “woke” bullshit just gives me a big ol’ crick in the neck. Ugh, it’s not even good grammar. They can take that PC crap and flush it, as far as I’m concerned. Love you, J-Lo – you go, girl.

  4. ROBERT

    February 12, 2019 at 10:16 am

    “FORGET”ALL THESE RACIST,SNOWFLAKE,PC,,PANTYWAISTS!IF ONLY “BLACK” BLACKS CAN PORTRAY BLACKS,MAYBE NEXT WE SHOULD ONLY LET BLACKS HEAR MOTOWN OR ANY OTHER BLACK MUSIC OR ARTISTS.PURSED TO IT’S LOGICAL, RACIST CONCLUSION ONLY BLACKS SHOULD BE ALLOWED TO BUY OR OWN BLACK MUSIC! THE ALTERNATIVE, THESE OVERLY SENSITIVE,CRY BABY WIMPS COULD:GET A LIFE,PRY THEIR HEADS OUT OF THEIR COLLECTIVE ASSES,AD SIT DOWN AND SHUT UP!

  5. MissD

    February 12, 2019 at 2:24 pm

    RACIST RACIST RACIST RACIST… I’ve heard it so damn much I have become RACIST!

  6. Joseph Kempski

    February 12, 2019 at 5:05 pm

    Heres some black history fod you. You were Slaves, now go back to africa and get over yourself

  7. Mike Steeler

    February 12, 2019 at 5:10 pm

    If this were White history month, and we had J Lo do a white label rendition, we would have racial riots because that would be racism. Funny how you change the above to black and it’s no longer racism, it’s “she isn’t black enough”. Someone needs to call this what it is; RACISM. It is not acceptable to any race and the blacks involved should know better. Shame on you!

  8. Grace Joy

    February 12, 2019 at 5:58 pm

    More Double Standards from the Left: ALL “non-whites” are “colored;” & deserving of special rights; BUT those same “colored people” are excluded from “black” things.

  9. Linda

    February 12, 2019 at 7:42 pm

    J Lopez is anti President Trump. I don’t care how many people diss her, for whatever reason.

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