The King of the Stage is about to make his Verzuz debut.
On Tuesday (June 29), Essence in partnership with Verzuz announced the Essence Fest extension of a Verzuz celebration as Bobby Brown will share the stage with fellow New Jack Swing king Keith Sweat on Thursday (July 1). As expected, fans of both singers are more than excited about the event.
“SURPRISE CELEBRATION!! See y’all THURSDAY!! @KeithSweat vs @KingBobbyBrown,” the popular celebration platform shared on Instagram. “We’re honored to partner with ESSENCE to bring you this special #VERZUZ THURSDAY, July 1st, 5PM PT / 8PM ET.”
Together, the two were among the faces of New Jack Swing in R&B. Brown along with producers and songwriters Babyface and LA Reid created Don’t Be Cruel in 1988 and set a standard for male R&B records. The album contained hit singles such as “Don’t Be Cruel,” “My Prerogative,” “Roni,” “Rock Wit’cha,” and “Every Little Step” and was not only one of the biggest albums of 1988 but also 1989. The album was certified 7x platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America.
By comparison, Sweat’s Make It Last Forever album in 1987 helped kickstart New Jack Swing thanks to producer Teddy Riley. The album was certified 3x platinum by the RIAA and included the hit title track as a single as well as “I Want Her,” “Something Just Ain’t Right,” “How Deep Is Your Love,” “Don’t Stop Your Love” and “Right and a Wrong Way.” In 1996, he released his self-titled album with the hit singles “Nobody” and “Twisted” and a year later, he formed the supergroup LSG with Johnny Gill and Gerald Levert
See some of the early reactions to the Verzuz below.