Tyler Perry speaks out on Jennifer Lopez's Grammys Motown tribute amid growing backlash
Tyler Perry has joined the growing list of people defending Jennifer Lopez’s controversial Motown tribute at the Grammys on Sunday.
Lopez, who is Latina, headlined a tribute segment to the historically-black music genre on Sunday evening and has since come under fire on social media.
In a tweet put out yesterday, Perry, 49, agreed that he was skeptical about the choice of Lopez when she was first announced, but it wasn’t for the same reasons most people were angry.
“I have to say I was on the fence about @JLo doing the Motown tribute,” the filmmaker tweeted. “Not [because] she isn’t black but because those are hard songs to take on.”
“Well she made me a believer! SHE KILLED IT!! I was so blown away. I’m so proud of her!! Music knows no color when it inspires. AWESOME JOB!!”
The “Madea” creator is not the only one to believe race has nothing to do with music and that J-Lo’s Motown tribute was in no way inappropriate.
I have to say I was on the fence about @JLo doing the Motown tribute, not bc she isn’t black but because those are hard songs to take on. Well she made me a believer! SHE KILLED IT!! I was so blown away. I’m so proud of her!! Music knows no color when it inspires. AWESOME JOB!! pic.twitter.com/rhOT1Xie0J— Tyler Perry (@tylerperry) February 11, 2019
MORE DEFENSE FOR J-LO
Pat Houston, the sister-in-law to the late Whitney Houston, said as much to TMZ yesterday.
“Who would not want to see J-Lo perform? She’s absolutely amazing,” Houston said. “Music and entertainment really doesn’t have a color. It’s an art form.”
Addressing folks criticizing Lopez, 49, for her performance, Houston added:
“Sometimes haters just cannot help themselves. …Everyone is gonna have something to say. She’s gonna keep being who she is. She’s gonna keep entertaining and I hope she does.”
MOTOWN ROOTS FOR LOPEZ
Motown legend Smokey Robinson, who was on stage with Lopez, also hit back at critics, saying that anyone upset is “stupid.”
“I don’t think anyone who is intelligent is upset,” Robinson, 78, stated. “I think anyone who is upset is stupid.”
Lopez also came to her defense following the backlash. The multi-talented entertainer pointed out that Motown founder/producer Berry Gordy, as well as organizers of the Grammy Awards, 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,” the “Second Act” star said in an interview with ET Online.
Lopez also said the performance was for her mom, who loved Robinson and listened to Motown songs while she [Lopez] and her sisters were growing up.
“I could cry. It’s such a good moment. It was for my mom. … It’s just a dream come true. Singing up there with Smokey Robinson, like, I gotta pinch myself. I grew up on all those songs and because my mom loved him so much she passed him on to us.”
"Any type of music can inspire any type of artist... 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." An emotional Jennifer Lopez responds to her critics backstage after her #GRAMMYs Motown tribute. pic.twitter.com/1dK3OEs9OH— Entertainment Tonight (@etnow) February 11, 2019
Lopez’s electrifying tribute included classics like Michael Jackson’s “Dancing Machine” and The Marvelettes’ “Please, Mr. Postman.”