For all those looking forward to the Verzuz showdown between R&B songstresses Ashanti and Keyshia Cole tonight, we’ve got some bad news. The highly anticipated music event has been postponed because Ashanti has tested positive for COVID-19. “Hey y’all I can’t believe I’m saying this but I tested positive for COVID-19,” wrote Ashanti in an Instagram post on Saturday, December 12. “I’m ok and not in any pain. I’m actually down to do the Verzuz from my house … We’re trying to figure it all out.” Ashanti and Keyshia Cole were set to go head to head, following the most recent “Icy” battle between Gucci Mane and Jeezy, which became the highest viewed Verzuz of all time with over 9.1 million viewers tuning in. Although Verzuz is an event set up specifically to withstand the existential threat of COVID, but nevertheless the event has been postponed indefinitely. Ashanti has not exactly been quarantining, as last month she traveled to Antigua and shared multiple photos of her trip on social media. Even so, we’re wishing Ashanti a speedy recovery so that we can see her her to belt out “Foolish,” “Baby,” and half of J.Lo’s catalogue.
Update, December 12, at 8:30 p.m.: While it was Ashanti who came down with the illness, it seems that it was Keyshia who decided that if they couldn’t do the Verzuz live and in person, she didn’t want to do it at all. Keyshia Cole and Ashanti went live on Instagram together after it was announced that their Verzuz battle would be postponed. During the live, Ashanti, who blamed “the Devil” for her contracting COVID-19 and not her recent bouts of international travel, doubled down on the sentiment that she shared in her Instagram post, saying that she would have been down to do the show, virtually. Keyshia was clearly less than thrilled with the idea. “I want to give you a hug. I want to love on you. I want to sing your songs in front of you. I want you to be there and do the same. I want you to enjoy our flowers. I want to enjoy my flowers, and I want us to be united as one,” said Keyshia Cole. So, while we could have had a Jill Scott versus Erykah Badu–style Verzuz tonight, it looks like we’ll be waiting at least two weeks for Ashanti to finish quarantining, so the girls can get together in person. Keyshia wants her flowers and she wants them hand delivered, thank you very much.
Update, December 24, at 3 p.m.: No word on a Verzuz reschedule yet, but Ashanti updated fans on Instagram to thank them for all the well wishes and to let us all know that she’s “feeling much better” after testing positive for COVID-19 on December 12. She also suggested that her parents were affected by coronavirus as well, “Thanking God that my mom is out of the hospital and my dad is doing well.” We’re relieved that Ashanti and her family are doing better, and that Bink brought her herbal teas. Good on you, Bink.