SWV has no plans to stop performing song with Michael Jackson sample

The ladies agreed "Right Here (Human Nature Remix)" is one of their top hits, and they will be performing it during Saturday's Verzuz battle.

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The ladies of SWV aren’t backing down from playing their Michael Jackson sample during Sunday’s Verzuz battle despite potential criticism.

Tamara “Taj” Johnson and Leanne “Lelee” Lyons spoke with TMZ Live on Thursday in regards to their upcoming showdown with Xscape. The ladies both agreed, “Right Here (Human Nature Remix),” is one of their top hits, and they will be performing it during the battle.

“We were one of the first artists he allowed to use his sample,” said Johnson. “That song has done great things for us, you will hear it. As a matter of a fact you may hear it three times,” she adds jokingly.

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LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – MAY 02: SWV performs during VH1’s Annual “Dear Mama: A Love Letter To Mom” at The Theatre at Ace Hotel on May 02, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Leon Bennett/Getty Images)

They also confirmed the King of Pop gave his 1983 hit, “Human Nature,”  to hit maker Teddy Riley. He shared it with the ladies and the rest is history.

According to Billboard, in 1993, the song spent 22 weeks on the US Hot 100, making it one of the most successful R&B songs of that year. Even today, the R&B hit has remained a fan favorite. In 2012, Complex placed it at number 27 on their The Best 90s R&B Songs list. In addition, Billboard ranked it 17 on their list of “100 Greatest Girl Group Songs of All Time.”

“Nobody is perfect whatever he went through I believe he has paid the price for that it is not our job to judge him,” added Johnson while Lyons shook her head in approval.

In the early 1990s, Jackson was accused of sexual child abuse allegations, leading to a trial in which Jackson was found not guilty. However, the well-known accusations and the tell-all 2019 documentary Leaving Neverland have left some fans conflicted if Jackson’s legacy should continue to be celebrated.

As reported by theGrio, back in March, the Verzuz battle is set to debut on Saturday. Xscape’s LaTocha Scott confirmed to TMZ that Verzuz will see the original members of the groups battle it out.

“So, we’re getting ready to do this Verzuz battle with Xscape and SWV. It’s going down May 8th. So, I’m out here just representing for my home team,” LaTocha shared.

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LaTocha told TMZ that Kandi BurrussTameka ‘Tiny’ Harris, and her sister, Tamika Scott, would be taking part in the Verzuz battle. Cheryl Gamble, Tamara Johnson, and Leanne Lyons formed Sisters With Voices in 1988, are all set to join in as well, according to LaTocha. 

Burruss previously teased a matchup in December.

LaTocha was happy the wait was now over. “Oh, it’s happening now,” the vocalist exclaimed.

She offered a friendly challenge to Gamble who grew to fame under the stage name Coko, one of the vocal powerhouses in SWV. “Coko, bring your vocals baby,” LaTocha said.

It’s been over a year since Verzuz was introduced to the culture as a means of coping by masterminds Timbaland and Swizz Beatz with the pandemic through streaming music. Since then, it’s grown from artists having tech issues in their home to a behemoth that was officially brought by Triller Network.

Additional reporting by Stephanie Guerilus

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