The singers will be the focus of a special Juneteenth edition of the Instagram Live series created by Timbaland and Keys’ husband, Swizz Beatz, which challenges Black entertainers to go head-to-head with their greatest hits in a friendly competition.
The matchup undoubtedly will feature both artists tickling the ivories as they croon, and fans, including some famous ones, are anxiously anticipating which hits both will pull out of their award-winning bags. Kerry Washington signaled her approval with an enthusiastic, “YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAS.” Actress Zoe Saldana was left speechless simply commenting, “🙌🏽🙌🏽🙌🏽🙌🏽🙌🏽🙌🏽🙌🏽.”
“Oh my heart, I feel there’s a good thing coming😍,” a hopeful fan wrote.
“This is what I was waiting for,” another commented.
Legend, who released his latest album titled “Bigger Love” on Friday, June 12, now has a total of six albums and multiple writing credits and features to his name. Not to mention, he’s the first Black man to join the ranks of EGOT royalty — meaning he’s earned at least one of each of the highest-ranked entertainment awards: Emmy, Grammy, Tony, and Oscar. His list of hits includes “Used To Love U,” “Ordinary People,” Save Room,” “All of Me,” and “Glory,” to name a few. The singer-songwriter, who is married to TV personality Chrissy Teigen, is set to host a Father’s Day special, “John Legend and Family: A Bigger Love Father’s Day,” on ABC.
“Some of us may wonder if it’s okay to laugh right now,” he said in a statement. “But music and humor have always lifted our spirits during tough times. This special celebrates love and the connection to the ones you care about most.”
Keys, a singer-songwriter Legend toured with during her “Songs in A Minor” days, is an equally celebrated and respected artist. The classical musician released her seventh album, “Alicia,” in May, two months after the release of her book “More Myself: A Journey.” She has won over a dozen Grammy and NAACP awards, and co-founded the Keep A Child Alive nonprofit. Fans can look forward to possibly hearing classics like “Fallin'” and “You Don’t Know My Name” or newer hits like “Underdog” and “Perfect Way to Die.”
“There is certain points in your life where you do know what you want and then these points in your life where you don’t know what you want, or you don’t know how to present it properly,” she told NPR. “In the case of the music, I knew who I was and I knew what was unique and I knew what felt good to me and I didn’t want to change it. I didn’t want to try to do something that was more commercial — or whatever it is that often happens when there’s a cross between art and business.”
Verzuz was created as a way to help entertain the masses who’ve been sheltering in place throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Timbaland and Swizz Beatz kicked off the battles and more Black music icons have faced off, including: Jill Scott and Erykah Badu, Teddy Riley and Babyface, Nelly and Ludacris.