Knight of LaBelle's And Whistles
Auntiechella of the two legends had me in my feelings, tears, and hungry.
Screenshot of the Queens of R&B & Soul, Gladys Knight & Patti LaBelle from my phone
Awe. Shook. Cried. Laughed. And yes, as I said in the subtitle, HUNGRY! These two powerful legends brought it house down to each of the 500k that watched from home and I'm sure they all felt those same emotions watching. Verzuz has featured some epic battles on their IG and Apple TV platforms such as Alicia Keys vs. John Legend, Snoop vs DMX, and most recently, Monica vs Brandy. This one was not a battle. It was a pure celebration of greatness. Of Legacy. Of everyone's favorite musical 'Aunties', Gladys Knight & Patti LaBelle
Several things I noticed in this Verzuz event was how stunning these ladies looked. Whenever you are before these ladies or have been live in a concert, you better come looking your best. Even at home, I had to make sure I came correct! Ms. Knight looked beautiful in her glitter purple suit with a solid purple top, and Ms. LaBelle didn't disappoint wearing an all black suit, but nearby as she has at her shows (which I had the pleasure to see by the way), her mini tower of beautiful heels.
Another thing that was definitely present, was the love and admiration they have for each other. At 77 (Knight) and 76 (LaBelle) years young, these women throughout the whole musical celebration, constantly complemented each others, songs, strength, laughter, families, survivals of heartbreak & loss, careers, and cooking. They spoke about cooking for them and their crew on the road, which I called "Hotplate Chronicles", and from seeing their videos leading up to the event, you'll understand why you would love to have a seat at any of their dinner parties. Then they started with their songs, and I suddenly found myself up singing each song I knew, line by line, dancing, swaying. 'If You Asked Me Too', and yes Ms. Patti IS the originator of this song (no knock on Celine Dion's version), Ms. Knight singing songs from the soundtrack "Claudine" (see the movie if you haven't. Diahann Carroll & James Earl Jones were powerful in this film). Ok, cue the tears flood gates when Ms. Patti played 'Somewhere Over The Rainbow'. Notes. Vocals. Tone. If you heard it, you know what I'm talking about. And yes, Ms. Patti did her signature move of the heels being kicked off during that song! I loved that both of them, with Ms. Gladys doing it the most, sang their own songs. They did sing backup for each others songs and that was such a bonus treat for all of us. The other great favorites also played and sung: 'Love Overboard', 'Feels Like Another One', 'Loving, Needing, Wanting You', 'Midnight Train To Georgia', 'On My Own'. Then of course, just when you thought the night couldn't get epic enough, there was a special guest joining these two legends, another legend, Dionne Warwick. Que the excitement all over again!
Ms. Warwick joined in singing 'That's What Friends Are For' and 'Superwoman'. That was my first time hearing them sing 'Superwoman', and of course, as music fans of these three, I added that to my song playlist. This was a legendary music masterclass like no other, and for me, I felt like I had the best seat in the house for it!
My Heard Take:
My musical heart felt like a wish was granted. These ladies shared such richness and gems of history and their importance of what is going on in the world today was the important emphasis of two things: Love one another, and acceptance. We need to love each other during these times. Music is such a universal language and just like food and celebrations, it brings us all together, despite it being socially distant. I hope that this and other music celebrations that we have witnessed from Verzuz and other musical platforms, make us appreciate the love of music, and that we can come together in a space of acceptance and love.