Will it be combat… or church? Verzuz seems to believe they can have it both ways. The popular faceoff platform announced in a social media post Tuesday that soul divas Gladys Knight and Patti LaBelle will be the next to square off, in a contest for the heavyweight belters’ belt Sunday night.
“Leave ya church clothes on all Sunday and pull up to the affair of all affairs. Y’all gotta get dressed up in ya Sunday’s best for this one,” Verzuz suggested in an Instagram post.
The Fillmore in Philadelphia will host what the platform is calling “the ultimate Verzuz,” set to be webcast Sunday at 8 p.m. ET/5 PT on its own @VerzuzTV Instagram page as well as on Apple TV.
It will mark only the second time Verzuz has gone truly live, following an earlier milestone appearance by John Legend and Alicia Keys.
The LaBelle/Knight pairing skews more classic than what Verzuz was initially known for, indicating not just a widening of its viewership but an ability to attract stars who might have once looked askance at such an offer.
Of course, to many younger Verzuz fans, the platform had already gone plenty classic with its previous matchup: that of Brandy and Monica, which Verzuz had dubbed “the Super Bowl of livestreams.” Following that event, Verzuz boasted of 1.8 million total viewers on Apple TV and 4.2 million total viewers on its Instagram page, 1.2 million of those IG views concurrent, suggesting that appointment viewing remains very much a thing, with the right programming, in this staggered tune-in age.
Verzuz further bragged that the million-plus tweets about the Monica/Brandy match beat the number of tweets for this year’s MTV VMAs. The two artists saw instantaneous results for their individual work, with a combined 20 million song streams just in the U.S. following their Verzuz appearance.