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Emma McIntyre

Smokey Robinson Calls Backlash Over J.Lo's Motown Tribute Performance "Stupid"

When asked about the backlash over her Motown tribute, the music icon didn't mince words. 

Ahead of the 2019 Grammys, it was revealed Jennifer Lopez was taped as a performer for a Motown tribute, which ruffled a lot of feathers.

Minutes before Sunday's award ceremony (Feb. 10) Variety caught up with Motown and music icon Smokey Robinson and asked him about the backlash over J.Lo's upcoming performance.

"I don't think anyone who's intelligent is upset," the 78-year-old entertainer said, "I think anyone who's upset is stupid."

When queried about why Lopez was the right fit the performance, Robinson said simply Motown's music is universal.

"Hey man, Motown was music for everybody. Everybody! You know what I mean? So that just says Jennifer Lopez, growing up in her Hispanic neighborhood, wherever she was, loved Motown. How can we beat that? Who's stupid enough to protest Jennifer Lopez doing something for Motown?"

Moments after the performance and emotional Lopez reflected on Motown's hits and said Berry Gordy was thrilled of her participation.

Despite Robinson's defense of Lopez, many took to Twitter after the performance and offered a scorching critique.

In 1959, Berry Gordy founded Motown Records which housed some of music's biggest talents including Diana Ross, The Four Tops, Marvin Gaye, Gladys Knight & The Pips, The Isley Brothers and more.

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In support of the last hurrah, Naturi Naughton and Joseph Sikora stopped by The Breakfast Club Wednesday (May 15) to talk about the magnitude of the show despite its humble beginnings.

"When we first started, we were eight episodes. We still shoot in Brooklyn and people were like 'Power? Never heard of it. Starz? What network is that?'...Starz has now become a leading cable premium network and we have over 10 million views across all platforms."

Naughton, 35, also said while traveling to Africa she was greeted with fanfare from those who watch the show overseas. "Oh, Mrs. Ghost. Tasha! Tasha! We love you' I have never felt so much love in my experience there,' " Naughton recalled.

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"Omari, admittedly, and I think he's talked a lot about that in interviews. Unlike Naturi and I, we're not as method as he is. I do a lot of the homework for Tommy at home and bring that to the set, whereas Omari needs to kind of stay in the realm of the character Ghost," Sikora said.

Watch the entire interview below.

 

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Man Who Launched Border Wall Go Fund Me Remains Silent About $22 Million Raised

The man who launched a Go Fund Me to assist Donald Trump with his plans for a border wall updated supporters over the weekend on the $22 million donated and said, he's keeping things under wraps for now.

"WALL UPDATE: there’s no update because we are remaining silent for a very good reason. You all will have the best present very soon," Air Force veteran Brian Kolfage wrote on Facebook.

"When I guaranteed we’d build the wall I meant it, and we are working with many congressmen and senators to help us mitigate these issues from the left wing attack groups! We are in the homestretch and it’s on a need to know basis. We have been talking with Fox News and prime time shows to break the news for you, you’re going to see it very soon! And it’s going to be GLORIOUS!"

The Go Fund Me was launched in December during a time of great contention between Trump and Democratic-run Congress. Kolfage said he's working with a Florida non-profit to We Build the Wall, Inc. While the $22 million raised is considered a lot, it's crumbs compared to the billions needed to actually construct the wall.

In January, Kolfage reportedly pledged to repay "every single penny" of the money donated if it fell short of the $1 billion goal. In January, Kolfage told the New York Times construction on the wall would begin in a few weeks. Then while speaking with American Family Radio in March, he said the project would break ground in April. However, The Daily Beast concluded there's no evidence of "that any construction has started.”

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