It was a battle for the ages.
Since it was announced over two weeks ago, the Verzuz battle between Monica and Brandy has been one of the most highly-anticipated of the series.
The two women have been musical rivals since the ’90s, and the event revealed that the tension between them two is still thick.
More than 1.2 million viewers tuned in on the Instagram platform alone. The numbers for viewers who watched on Apple Music have not yet been released.
“New record tonight: 1.2M+,” Verzuz tweeted. The announcement prompted some viewers to advocate for more battles between female musicians.
The event kicked off with a surprise call from Democratic vice presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris, who thanked the two for their contributions to the culture. Harris encouraged the viewing audience to vote in this November’s pivotal election.
“You both used your voices in such a powerful way,” she said, “and an extension of our voices is our vote, right?”
There were tons of stars present for the live stream. Former First Lady Michelle Obama, Keke Palmer, Fantasia, Solange, and Queen Latifah joined in. So did collaborators Missy Elliott and Johnta Austin.
Fans had been calling for the pair’s matchup for months. In a May interview with Atlanta’s V103, Monica said that she would only participate in the event if it was a “celebration.”
“I understand the idea of (Verzuz), and I think it’s really, really entertaining and it is an incredible idea,” Monica said of the phenomenon founded by producers Timbaland and Swizz Beatz in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic.
“One thing that has happened to me my whole career is being put against someone else that I’m not even remotely similar to,” she said. “I think the reality is us being polar opposites makes it dope.”
The differences between the two singers were on full display Monday night. Monica was even dressed smartly in Fendi while Brandy sported a bohemian jacket and jeans.
Billboard crowned Brandy the winner of the 21-round battle, but social media will assuredly continue to debate results for days to come.
Here are some Twitter reactions:
Have you subscribed to theGrio’s “Dear Culture” podcast? Download our newest episodes now!