Smokey Robinson calls out J. Lo critics: 'Stop hating'

The Motown legend posted a note on social media Tuesday blasting critics of Jennifer Lopez' Grammys tribute to Motown

Adam Graham
The Detroit News
Jennifer Lopez, left, and Smokey Robinson perform a medley during a tribute to Motown's 60th anniversary at the 61st annual Grammy Awards.

Smokey Robinson has taken to social media to defend Jennifer Lopez and blast critics of her tribute to Motown on Sunday's Grammy Awards. 

"Attention, all those of you who protested a wonderful, super talented, world renowned, super star like Jennifer Lopez, showing her love and support for Motown music, here's some food for thought," Robinson wrote in the note, which was posted to his social media accounts on Tuesday. 

He went on to defend Motown's goal, which was to make music for the masses, regardless of race or geography. 

"So now you're gonna try to diminish the scope of Motown and narrow it down to just music for Black people and call yourself defending the image of Motown. Well you're trying to set us back a hundred years," Robinson wrote. 

Lopez' tribute, in which Robinson took part, found the singer taking a spin through numerous Motown hits, including Martha and the Vandellas' “Dancing in the Street,” the Contours' “Do You Love Me,” Barrett Strong's “Money (That’s What I Want),” The Marvelettes' “Please Mr. Postman” and more. She received a lot of flak from the performance from critics who said the tribute should have been led by somebody with ties to Motown, or a black performer.

"If you call yourself loving Motown, be happy that we reached so many people and broke down so many racial barriers and that an artist like Jennifer, even after hearing all your negative comments, still loved Motown enough to do the tribute anyway," Robinson wrote. "Now that's love and respect." 

He went on name some of Motown's non-black performers, including Teena Marie and Rare Earth. 

"Stop hating," wrote Robinson, 78. "Motown united people not divided them. So don't call yourself loving Motown if you're a hater and spreading the same bigotry that you so strongly oppose coming at you from others."

Robinson is hosting a 60th anniversary tribute to Motown that tapes in Los Angeles on Tuesday and will air on CBS in April.