Just in time for Juneteenth, VERZUZ is back! The musical “battles” have been keeping everyone entertained while on lockdown. The memes and laughs from the TWO Babyface vs Teddy Riley showdowns were worth their weight in gold, Erykah Badu and Jill Scott made everyone feel a little bit more peaceful and when Kirk Franklin teamed up with Fred Hammond, we all went to church.
This time, we have Alicia Keys and John Legend going head to head on the piano. This is special because it’s the first VERZUZ battle featuring a man and a woman and also both singers will be performing at the 2020 BET Awards (June 28 at 8 pm EST).
Before you watch Alicia Keys and John Legend tickle the ivories, check out some of their notable BET moments.
At the 2010 BET Awards, Alicia Keys was very pregnant with her first child, but the singer did not let pregnancy stop her from doing her job. Keys famously climbed on top of a piano during her passionate performance of Prince’s hit song “Adore.” He was being honored with a much-deserved Lifetime Achievement Award. She also went home with two awards: Best Female R&B Artist and Best Collaboration with Jay- Z for, "Empire State of Mind."
In 2019, rapper/entrepreneur/philanthropist Nispey Hussle lost his life in the parking lot outside of a clothing store he owned. That same year, the BET Awards posthumously honored Nipsey with the Best Male Hip Hop Artist Award and the Humanitarian Award. Not long before his death, Nispey shot a video with DJ Khaled and John Legend for their song “Higher.” At the 2019 BET Awards, there was a rousing musical tribute to the late rapper and John Legend was on hand to sing the hook. It was a joyful moment in celebration of Nipsey Hussle’s life.
Black Girls Rock
Alicia Keys has always been about empowering women and at the 2008 BET Awards, she showcased just that. In addition to performing her own music, she brought out some of her favorite girl groups to perform their hits. SWV sang “Weak in the Knees,” En Vogue sang “You’re Never Gonna Get It,” and TLC performed “Waterfalls.” Keys and all the ladies joined in for the chorus on “Waterfalls” and the entire audience was singing along to every word.
Virtual Soul Train
Back in April, BET launched the celebrity-filled virtual event called “SAVING OUR SELVES: A BET COVID-19 RELIEF EFFORT.” Hosted by Kelly Rowland, Terrence J and Regina Hall, the special included a number of performances. John Legend went all in by donning an afro wig and sporting his flyest 70’s attire to lead a virtual, global Soul Train line as he sang “Bigger Love.”