Keyshia Cole and Ashanti’s Verzuz broke records, but it didn’t come without some drama.
Following Thursday’s battle, Keyshia took to Instagram Live with Elijah Blake to address her hour-plus tardiness and reveal what transpired behind the scenes.
She started off by thanking her fans for tuning in to “the highest-rated Verzuz” before issuing an apology for not appearing on-camera sooner, which she attributed to technical difficulties.
“I want to apologize for not sitting my ass in that seat, because I was there and I should’ve sat down,” she said. “I should’ve just sat in the seat, no matter if I felt like the visual wasn’t clear or they said my music wasn’t gonna be right or whatever it was.”
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She was backstage in her dressing room when O.T. Genasis informed her that the picture wasn’t clear and she could end up in a situation like Teddy Riley. “I was really skeptical about that,” she said while expressing her fears. “I don’t want to go on and they not see me and I’m looking blurry, the connection is not right and everything like that.”
The Oakland songstress was waiting for the technical issues to be resolved before she appeared on camera, but many fans noticed that something was off when she finally did make an entrance. “I wear my heart on my sleeve. I’m Keyshia Cole,” she said.
Keyshia, who admits that she was nervous for the first three songs, also addressed reports that she was “sauced up.” “That’s not true. That’s a known fact that you can’t really be sauced up while you’re trying to sing and hit notes.”
During the two-hour livestream, she brought out surprise guest O.T. Genasis to sing “Love,” putting an end to their internet feud. “We both apologized. It’s all good. Nobody wanna focus on hate and not liking one another for 2021,” sad Keyshia, who credited O.T. for advising her not to appear until the connection was fixed.
Despite the drama, Verzuz drew its highest viewers yet on Instagram, with over 6 million tuning in, and another 1.6 million on Apple Music. Keyshia also debuted her new single “I Don’t Want to Be in Love,” which hits streaming services on Feb. 5.