Two living music legends revisiting their iconic hits? That's music to fans' ears.
Thanks to Timbaland and Swizz Beatz's webcast series, Verzuz—in which two performers battle each other using their discographies—fans got to see exactly that unfold between Gladys Knight and Patti LaBelle. As queens of the music industry with 36 Grammy nominations between them, the highly anticipated showdown was equal parts impressive and nostalgic as the women—known respectively as the "Empress" and "Godmother" of Soul—revisited their beloved songs.
Knight and LaBelle took turns over several hours serenading each other and viewers live from Philadelphia on Sunday, Sept. 13, a welcomed opportunity after months without the chance to perform. "It's like the closest we've gotten since COVID to performing," LaBelle said. "It's like a concert."
Amid the pandemic and Black Lives Matter movement in the United States, Knight added, "I hope that the music we're delivering them right now is something positive. We're talking and we're singing about love."
However, the stars didn't take a soulful stroll down their decades-long careers, impressively belting out their tracks, swapping stories and even kicking off their heels (yes, Patti!) with just each other.
In the final round of the battle, the ladies were joined by none other than Dionne Warwick to perform "That's What Friends Are For" as a trio. The moment, 35 years after the release of Warwick's star-studded version featuring Knight, was the definition of touching.
But, the singers had one more song in store in the name of sisterhood—the trio's 1991 cover of "Superwoman."
"What a night," Knight said.
LaBelle added, "We've had our moments up here tonight and we're blessed whoever's watching that you watched and that you saw real love because that's what it is."
While choosing a winner between two greats feels wrong, the track list for this Verzuz battle is below. You can be the judge, or as Michael B. Jordan was doing, simply enjoy the show. As the actor tweeted, "They sittin down but I'm standin up !"
All Right Now
If You Asked Me To
Stir It Up
When You've Been Blessed (Feels Like Heaven)
If You Don't Know Me By Now
My Love, Sweet Love
Love, Need and Want You
The Right Kinda Lover
Over the Rainbow
Somebody Loves You Baby (You Know Who It Is)
Kiss Away the Pain
On My Own
Feels Like Another One (featuring Big Daddy Kane)
The Alphabet Song (from Sesame Street)
You Are My Friend
If Only You Knew
You're the Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me
Make Yours a Happy Home
Every Beat of My Heart
On and On
License to Kill
Midnight Train to Georgia
Someone to Watch Over Me
Neither One of Us (Wants to Be the First to Say Goodbye)
You're Number One (In My Book)
I've Got to Use My Imagination
Midnight Train to Georgia
That's What Friends Are For (featuring Dionne Warwick)
Superwoman (featuring Dionne Warwick & Patti LaBelle)