The Verzuz battle between Ashanti and Keyshia Cole that had been scheduled for tonight has been postponed following Ashanti’s positive COVID-19 test. The battle between the two will now take place on January 9.
“Unfortunately, we have to postpone tonight’s @Ashanti vs @KeyshiaCole #VERZUZ,” Verzuz said in a statement on Instagram. “Ashanti tested positive for COVID-19 beforehand, and we cannot put anyone at risk in the process. First time this has struck us so close to showtime. We apologize to our incredible audience! Get well soon, Ashanti. Wear a mask, stay inside, and take COVID-19 seriously.”
View this post on Instagram
Verzuz first started at the beginning of the pandemic, with Swizz Beatz and Timbaland pairing famous rappers, singers and producers to trade turns performing their hits. Since their first event, Verzuz has taken off, with fans eagerly awaiting each edition. Past Verzuz battles have included Alicia Keys taking on John Legend, Ludacris going against Nelly and many more.
In a recent live stream, Swizz Beatz accidentally revealed that a future edition of Verzuz will see OutKast reuniting and going head-to-head against A Tribe Called Quest. Verzuz had taken a break during the month of October, returning for Season 2 last month with T.I. and Jeezy. Due to Verzuz success, Swizz Beatz has also said the series will continue following the end of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ashanti is far from the only artist to have tested positive for the coronavirus. Earlier this month, Jeremih was discharged from the hospital following a lengthy battle against the virus. Maynard James Keenan, Sturgill Simpson, Damian Koulash, Madonna, Marianne Faithfull, Wreckless Eric, Will Carrol, John Taylor and Christopher Cross have also all tested positive for COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic.
COVID cases have spiked over the past month, with the United States currently having over 16.2 million cases and over 298,000 deaths. This past week has seen an average of 207,816 new cases per day, which has been an increase of 25 percent from the average that had been seen two weeks prior. Cases have been steadily increasing throughout the country, with many states returning into lockdown.