The Gladys Knight/ Patti LaBelle Verzuz Battle was in fact a historic night, an iconic night. It was one of the few battles that I actually watched live. It was worth every minute of my time because this was a night filled with two queens sharing their precious music with those of us who love it so dearly. Dubbed #AuntieChella, The Gladys/Patti battle also offered a night filled with precious moments in ways that only black women can provide. Sometimes funny, occasionally shady dipped in sweetness, but always loving, #AuntieChella allowed me to be a kid again. A chubby kid, with afro puff tied with ribbons made of yarn, standing in the den with my mom and uncles as they danced and sang songs by the Pips, LaBelle, or even the Temptations. Back then, I would absorb the humorous commentary offered specifically by my Uncle Billy who had a huge crush on Gladys because she was a thick, chocolate woman with full lips who could “sang!” For a brief moment, Gladys and Patti made me feel like my family was still the same. It was everything! So as I watched and sang along, I made note of my favorite things about this battle that brought me joy and reminded me of why I loved #growingupblack.
1.) Patti checking herself out in the mirror while Gladys was singing.
2.) Gladys and Patti shouting out MLK’s granddaughter – “Did you see that baby?”
3.) The comment section on the screen – “Why do they have Ciroc? They need White Zinfandel!” “Pre-gaming for Gospel Brunch!” “This my shit!”
4.) Patti forgetting the words to her own songs – “Oh they went to that other part!” Black aunties don’t ever sing the words correctly, and I count myself as one of them.
5.) Gladys’s encouragement – “Sannngggg, girl!”
6.) Gladys and Patti saying whatever came to mind – “We love the gays. They’ve been good to us…and ain’t nobody less than!” “Monica and Brandy, now y’all go ‘head and work it out now. Fix it.” Black aunties have no filter!
7.) Gladys low key preaching-“Don’t y’all be out here killing each other. It ain’t your business anyway. HE can fix it!” Gladys knows Jesus. #preach
8.) Midnight Train to Georgia – Gladys: He’s gone, girl! I was making that pie for him. That Patti pie.
Patti: You took too long!
9.) Patti going off on the production crew – “Y’all better put my words up there. Come on now! Some of these songs are twenty years old, we can’t remember back that far. You do again and you gone get cut.” Again, Black Aunties have no filter!
10.) Patti announcing to the world that she has a FLIP PHONE. #thatisall 🤣
11.) Patti throwing shade at 45 – “We miss you Michelle and Barack!”#foreverFLOTUS #foreverPOTUS
12.) When Gladys stood up on “Neither One of Us.” I stood up too and threw up my church hand!
13.) Gladys singing “Love Overboard” reminded me of the episode on A Different Word and she performed the song with Whitley and Julissa. “SOSOSOS!”🌊🚢
14.) When Dionne Warwick showed up and they all sang, “That’s What Friends Are For.”😢
15.) Patti again with the political shade.
Gladys: Love changes things.
Patti: You know what could change things…if everybody voted. 🗳
16.) Patti’s – gotta take off these shoes. I can’t walk, my feet hurt. Whew, girl!” And she took them off right then. Cue camera cut.
We needed this battle. On one night for a couple of hours, we made Sunday dinner with love, and homes were cleaned with care because this battle reminded us how we grew up. ❤️❤️❤️
This was one for the culture. I am going to watch it again. By far, this was the best Verzuz Battle ever! If you disagree, you weren’t raised right. I said what I said.