Contemporary R&B icons Alicia Keys and John Legend are set to take part in a Verzuz battle this upcoming Friday, June 19, according to Billboard. The battle will take place party to honor Juneteenth, a day commemorating the abolishment of slavery in America, as both Keys and Legend have been active in donating their time, money and other resources to black communities who have been affected by police brutality or other forms of systemic racism.
The Verzuz series announced on its Instagram page over the weekend that Keys and Legend will take part in the battle. The series originally started at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic by legendary hip hop producers Swizz Beats and Timabland as a twenty song showdown between evenly matched producers, but has grown to include writers and performers facing off and going back and forth, hit for hit.
Keys and Legend will be joining a growing list of artists who have been featured on the series, which includes battles between Nelly and Ludacris, Lil Jon and T-Pain, Jill Scott and Erykah Badu and many more. Other big name producers, such as RZA and DJ Premier, have also faced off on the series.
Keys was originally scheduled to embark on a 2020 world tour before the coronavirus pandemic halted the music world. She was able to perform an emotional Kobe Bryant tribute with Boyz II Men at the 2020 Grammy Awards before the pandemic struck. Legend has also been quite busy throughout the quarantine; he has announced his own album and released its lead single, collaborated with Jhene Aiko and Jadakiss, and recently signed a letter with Lizzo, The Weeknd and other high profile artists calling for the defunding of the police. Legend also took part in a tribute to Nipsey Hussle at the 2020 Grammy Awards with Kirk Franklin, DJ Khaled, Meek Mill, Roddy Ricch and YG.