Sunday, April 17 was a special night of celebration for gospel music fans as gospel duo, Mary Mary, and brother and sister duo, BeBe & CeCe Winans, vocally battled it out at the Verzuz Easter Special held at the beautiful historic Vibania, a former cathedral, in downtown Los Angeles.
The host for the evening was comedian, actor, author, and influencer, KevOnStage (Kevin Fredericks), and the talented DJ and beatboxer for the show was DJ Mal-Ski.
Warryn Campbell, the nine-time Grammy award-winning producer, husband of Erica Campbell and lead pastor of the California Worship Center, located in North Hollywood, started the special evening off with a word of prayer. He prayed that God would get all the glory out of every song and that people everywhere would be saved.
Host KevOnStage introduced the contenders, Mary Mary, and BeBe and CeCe Winans. The sibling duo Mary Mary dressed in beautiful hot pink pant suits. Tina Campbell wore a hat and a hot pink jacket with orange and white accents. Both ladies looked amazing!
CeCe Winans came out wearing a beautiful red sequenced pant suit that shimmered slightly with gold, accompanied by gold platform heels. BeBe wore a sophisticated, but comfortable looking, black velvet suit highlighted with gold in the jacket, and a white design down the side of the pant leg.
When the host asked who should go first, BeBe squared his shoulders and danced around like a boxer before he announced, “Let them go first, or let them go last. It doesn’t matter, we came to battle!”
The smiles and the jokes were heavy such as Tina Campbell warning BeBe to be careful, and not get too worn out. However, the jokes only revealed the obvious love between the legendary groups. The jesting led to lots of laughter, which further enhanced the positive and fun atmosphere maintained throughout the evening.
Mary Mary opened by singing their 2006 hit, “Believer,” while BeBe and CeCe started off with their 2009 chart-topper, “Close To You.” From that point, the duos sang perfectly for more than 12 rounds. In response, the crowd worshiped, praised, sang and laughed through each round.
As the evening ended, both duos sang their respective versions of “Heaven” and Mary Mary closed out the friendly competition with Erica Campbell’s 2015 hit, “I Luh God.”
Before the attendees departed, Stevie Wonder came to the stage and DJ Mal-Ski handed him a mic.
“What a perfect way to celebrate this Resurrection Sunday; it was incredible,” said Wonder. And most attendees concurred when Wonder added, “I would have to say that it was a tie.”
After sharing his views on voter rights, and other issues, Wonder stated, “It was wonderful just to hear the music and celebration of the most high!”
VERZUZ was launched in March 2020 by Grammy award-winning producers and entrepreneurs Swizz Beats and Timbaland. Verzuz regularly averages over one million viewers across all platforms. Last year, VERZUZ presented another battle in the gospel music category – “The Healing,” which featured Kirk Franklin versus Fred Hammond.
The Mary Mary and BeBe and CeCe Winans Verzuz is available for replay at: https://verzuztv.com/