Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds and Teddy Riley's Instagram Live battle was part of a larger series named “Verzuz” that was launched by Swizz Beatz and Timbaland


By Dave Quinn
April 21, 2020 01:45 PM
Credit: Michael Kovac/WireImage; Bennett Raglin/Getty

Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds and Teddy Riley’s highly anticipated Instagram Live battle finally went down, Monday night, after the two music legends postponed their duel — first due to COVID-19 and then due to technical issues.

More than 500,000 viewers tuned in to the rematch for the ages, which saw Babyface, 62, and Riley, 52, pitting their catalogue of hits against one another.

Over the course of 20 individual battle rounds, each put up two of their respective classics while fans furiously debated which one was better.

Riley brought to the table New Jack Swing tunes he produced like Wreckx-n-Effect’s “Rump Shaker,’ SWV’s “Right Here,” Johnny Kemp’s “Just Got Paid,” Michael Jackson’s “In the Closet,” and Keith Sweat’s “How Deep Is Your Love.”

Babyface countered with his produced R&B hits likeThe Whispers’ “Rock Steady,” Bobby Brown’s “Every Little Step,” Boyz II Men’s “I’ll Make Love to You,” “Toni Braxton’s “You’re Makin’ Me High,” as well as Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey’s “When You Believe.”

Each also dug into their own records, Riley playing songs he sang with his ’90s group Blackstreet (like their biggest success, “No Diggity”) and Babyface singing an acoustic version of his 1993 chart-topper, “When Can I See You Again.”

Although it was a competition, both Babyface and Riley praised one another throughout the competition.

“You inspired me,” Riley told Babyface at one point.

“We keep each other on our toes,” Babyface said, in response.

As for who won, Braxton appeared to have the answer — summing up how the move brought so many people together during the coronavirus pandemic.

“There is no battle, you know who’s winning? Us. The culture,” she said.

The Instagram Live battle between the two is part of a larger series named “Verzuz” that was launched by Swizz Beatz and Timbaland.

Previous matchups have been between The-Dream and Sean Garrett, Ne-Yo and Johntá Austin, Scott Storch and Mannie Fresh and T-Pain and Lil Jon.

Babyface and Riley were first scheduled to face-off on April 12, but the date was postponed after Babyface was diagnosed with coronavirus.

They attempted to try again on Saturday, but technical difficulties caused them to call off the battle.