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Brandy and Monica address beef in record-breaking Verzuz battle notching 6 million views

Entertainment Weekly logo Entertainment Weekly 9/1/2020 Rachel Yang
Brandy Norwood et al. posing for the camera: Gilbert Carrasquillo/Getty Images; Prince Williams/Wireimage © Provided by Entertainment Weekly Gilbert Carrasquillo/Getty Images; Prince Williams/Wireimage

Brandy and Monica let the music speak on Monday night and broke records in the process.

The beloved R&B artists faced off in the latest Verzuz battle, and their session shattered records, breaking 1.2 million concurrent views on the three-hour Instagram livestream and bringing in 6 million views in total across all platforms, Verzuz announced on Instagram the next day.

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A post shared by Verzuz (@verzuztv) on Sep 1, 2020 at 7:10pm PDT

The singers also addressed their past tensions, which Monica previously brushed off as "brilliant marketing" thanks to their hit song "The Boy Is Mine" fanning the flames of a rumored feud.

"I wanted to speak to you face to face," Monica, 39, said. "The more we’re talked about, the more it came to be difficult, unnecessarily. And I really really am a straight shooter and I really do admire what you’ve done musically and what you’ve had to endure personally."

Brandy, 41, returned the compliment, saying, "I have the utmost love and respect for you as well, for somebody to start at 12 years old.... The longevity of your career, nobody [knows] what you’ve been through."

The women kept it cordial and even held hands at points during the unusually long, three-hour battle. Both played their iconic songs, as well as their lesser-known gems; Brandy showed off "Baby," "Almost Doesn't Count," "Full Moon," and even broke out her Moesha journal with the poems. She dedicated “Missing You” to late performers like Chadwick Boseman, Kobe Bryant, Nipsey Hussle, Michael Jackson, and Whitney Houston.

Brandy Norwood et al. posing for the camera: The singers, who hadn't spoken in 8 years, patched things up and brought out their hits like 'Baby,' 'So Gone,' and of course, 'The Boy Is Mine' in a record-breaking livestream that topped 6 million views. © Gilbert Carrasquillo/Getty Images; Prince Williams/Wireimage The singers, who hadn't spoken in 8 years, patched things up and brought out their hits like 'Baby,' 'So Gone,' and of course, 'The Boy Is Mine' in a record-breaking livestream that topped 6 million views.

Monica effortlessly harmonized to some of her own jams with "So Gone," "Almost Doesn't Count," "For You I Will," and "Angel of Mine," among the mix.

Still, fans commented that they sensed some awkwardness between the duo at times. At one point, Monica mentioned how she's matured from her days of "kickin' in doors and smackin' chicks," leading Brandy to joke she was one of those chicks.

Brandy and Monica also revealed that they hadn't talked in eight years before the battle. Their last collaboration came in 2012 when they recorded a follow-up single "It All Belongs to Me," a female empowerment anthem.

Lots of celebrities tuned into the highly anticipated livestream, including Snoop Dogg (who is Brandy's cousin), Keke Palmer, Missy Elliott, and even Michelle Obama. Vice Presidential candidate Kamala Harris also popped in for a virtual chat before the face-off to celebrate the ladies and encourage viewers to vote in the 2020 election.

Monica released a new song, "Trenches" featuring Lil Baby, during the livestream, while Brandy trotted out "Borderline" from her new album b7

According to social media reactions, the singers were neck and neck the whole time, and people loved seeing the women patch things up and have fun throughout the night.

"People need this music," Brandy said about their Verzuz. "People need to see us together, people need to see unity and celebration ... I'm just honored to be sitting next to you."

They closed the reunion with — what else — "The Boy is Mine." Brandy also explained she wanted Monica on the collaboration because "it was missing you ... and you just took it to a different place."

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