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Smokey Robinson is coming to Jennifer Lopez’s defense after Sunday’s Motown tribute at the 61st Grammys. J.Lo has been receiving backlash online from critics who argue the Puerto Rican singer wasn’t the perfect pick to pay homage to the black label.

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In an exclusive interview with TMZ, Smokey thinks confining the Motown sound to African Americans is a “stupid philosophy” and there’s nothing wrong with a Latina showcasing Motown because the label is about breaking all color barriers. He’s accusing critics–especially those who are African American–of “setting us back a hundred years.”

The legendary singer co-hosted the Motown 60th Anniversary Show Tuesday night. Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross, Boyz II Men, Chloe x Halle, Tori Kelly, John Legend, Ne-Yo and more were all featured on that lineup. It’s unclear when the special will air on CBS.

Meanwhile, you can relive Jennifer Lopez’s performance below.



Smokey Robinson on Motown Tribute: Leave J.Lo Alone  was originally published on

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