Announced earlier in the week, the match-up was billed as a celebration of the holiday, pitting the catalogs of two perennial r&b stars against one another. And sure enough, the ivory-anchored duo went back-to-back – literally and structurally – for more than two hours on Instagram Live. The session included several duets (including an opening acoustic cover of Bob Marley’s “Redemption Song”) and a number of classic-assisting features, but also solo performances of their hits, occasionally pulling the aux chord out and just running through songs on their respective pianos. Each round was threaded with reminiscences of studio sessions, fostering a candid and warm exchange filled with mutual respect and subtle flexes.
Keys and Legend’s match followed a bout between gospel heavies Kirk Franklin and Fred Hammond, continuing a streak of mostly glitch-free broadcasts following a murky start to the platform.
Watch Alicia Keys and John Legend celebrate Juneteenth with a special edition of Verzuz above. Hold tight for the announcement of next week’s contenders.
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