Smokey Robinson calls Motown tribute complainers 'stupid'

Social media said Jennifer Lopez wrong choice

By Lisa Respers France, CNN
Getty Images via CNN

Jennifer Lopez and Smokey Robinson perform onstage at the 61st annual Grammy Awards at Staples Center in Los Angeles on Sunday.

(CNN) - Before they even hit the stage Sunday night at the Grammys for a tribute to Motown, Smokey Robinson was defending the selection of Jennifer Lopez.

"I don't think anyone who is intelligent is upset," Robinson told Variety. "I think anyone who is upset is stupid."

Lopez joined the Motown legend and singer Ne-Yo for an energetic tribute to the label founded by Berry Gordy in Detroit in 1959.

Speaking to Variety outside Clive Davis' pre-Grammy gala on Saturday, Robinson didn't take too kindly to social media complaints that Lopez was not a good choice for the performance.

"Motown was music for everybody. Everybody," Robinson said. "Who's stupid enough to protest Jennifer Lopez doing anything for Motown?"

Turns out that Lopez had both critics and supporters afterward and Robinson tweeted her a thanks.

For her part Lopez was in tears talking to "Entertainment Tonight" after her performance.

She said she did it for her mom, who is a huge Motown fan.

"Any type of music can inspire any type of artist ...You can't tell people what to love," Lopez said. "You can't tell people what they can and can't do -- what they should sing or not sing."

CNN has reached out to Robinson for additional comment.

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