The highly anticipated battle of Verzuz between living legends Patti LaBelle and Gladys Knight resumed social media last night (September 13).
Swizz beatz and Timbalands Instagram Live’s epic battles remain one of the most popular entertainment forums during quarantine. Launched in March, the virtual battles are some of the most viewed content on the social platform amid the coronavirus pandemic.
This continued to be true for LaBelle, and the Knights set took place live from the Philadelphias Fillmore Theater which coincided with the season opener in the NFL. Over half a million people took part in the musical battle. The evening began with Love, Need, And Want by LaBelle and Someone to Watch Over Me by Knight before the two ladies took a moment to reflect on the historic occasion.
The legendary soulstresses remembered when they first met and appeared in the music industry together. LaBelle expressed how grateful she is at the moment given that musicians and artists have been unable to put on live performances in the past seven months due to the global coronavirus pandemic, saying it was closest we’ve gotten since COVID to play and that it’s such a blessing to do us for two hours or three hours, or whatever we were going to do.
Knight added, and I hope the music playing them right now is something positive. Spoke and sang of love. We were talking about sisters and families and all those kinds of things. I think these are the things we need to focus on rather than some of the other things that happen because it is killing me.
The two then chatted about their kids and grandchildren, which led LaBelle to hilariously confess that she still uses a flip phone, which Knight joked about yesterday.
From there, the match began as the two icons took viewers back through decades of careers. They delivered classics like Midnight Train to Georgia, Lady Marmalade, “Neither One Of Us, and Right Kind of Lover, among others, while singing each other’s songs. When they forever noticed FLOTUS Michelle obama in the virtual front row, LaBelle and Knight stopped to give her and Barack obama a shout.
There were slight technical issues with the sound that came out every now and then, but their live vocals more than made up for the snafu. Keeping their agenda in mind, LaBelle and Knight also reminded people to step out and vote in the upcoming presidential election in November throughout the evening.
The highlight of the night came when the 1998 LaBelles classic, Somewhere Over the Rainbow, was in line and she kicked off her heels after hitting a high note.
Just when it looked like their match couldn’t be epic anymore, Dionne warwick showed up towards the end of the event. Warwick joined his soul sisters to sing Thats What Friends Are For.
Haven’t seen you in so long, “Warwick greeted LaBelle and Knight. Together, the three ladies delivered one last powerful Superwoman performance to close the evening.
The LaBelle and Knights Verzuz match didn’t exactly follow the traditional 20 song format of previous matches, but their musical masterclass was certainly one for the books.
Check out some of the reactions below:
(Photo: Walter McBride / Getty Images)
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