Patti LaBelle prepares to take on ‘best friend’ Gladys Knight in Sunday Verzuz battle

Soul legends Patti LaBelle and Gladys Knight will go song for song in a Verzuz battle live from the Fillmore Theater Sunday evening

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The latest installment of “Verzuz” is set to feature soul music royalty, with singers Gladys Knight and Patti LaBelle going head-to-head Sunday night at 8 p.m. EDT.

The battle will be streamed from Philadelphia’s Fillmore Theater and carried on Instagram Live and Apple Music.

The Verzuz series has been less of a competition and more of a celebration of two artists. For LaBelle, in particular, it serves as a unique opportunity to have a love fest with her life long friend.

“Gladys is my best friend, my sistergirl,” LaBelle told the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Singers Gladys Knight and Patti LaBelle pose in the press room at the 2007 BET Awards held at the Shrine Auditorium on June 26, 2007 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

The women’s bond is multi-tiered. Aside from both being in the industry going on six decades, winning multiple Grammys, and frontwomen of platinum-selling groups, LaBelle says they share a deep, personal connection.

“I’ve been knowing her forever,” LaBelle said. “I was with her when her son died, she was with me when my sisters passed. We’ve been together for so many years, so doing it with her is such a blessing.”

LaBelle said that it was her son who first approached her about doing a Verzuz episode, and when she was told it would be with Knight, she said “We got to do this.”

READ MORE: Brandy, Monica take over 30 out of 40 spots on Apple Music chart after Verzuz battle

With the event happening live in an empty Fillmore Theater, LaBelle implicated that she hopes to do some live singing as her songs play.

“If God’s willing and the creek don’t rise, [I’m hoping to] have a voice on Sunday,” LaBelle stated. “I love singing live and I love singing to my music, I love singing a cappella.”

The “New Attitude” singer says there are songs she’s hoping to hear from Knight, like “If I Were Your Woman,” describing that as her “jam” to Philadelphia Inquirer.

READ MORE: Brandy, Monica Verzuz battle draws over 1.2 million viewers

“It’s like I’m a fan of Gladys Knight. It’s like singing with your idol,” LaBelle said.

Verzuz was started by music producers Timbaland and Swizz Beatz. They’ve curated pairings that included Teddy Riley vs. Babyface, Jill Scott vs. Erykah Badu and Kirk Franklin vs. Fred Hammond.

The most recent installment, which featured singers Brandy and Monica, was the all-time most viewed “Verzuz” battle to date, with over 1.2 million concurrent viewers on August 31, according to Billboard.

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