Kamala Harris Makes Surprise Appearance on Brandy and Monica's 'Verzuz' Battle
By Leena Tailor
Paras Griffin/Getty Images, Lorenzo Bevilaqua/Walt Disney Television
Brandy and Monica had a special guest show up during their Verzuz battle on Monday -- Kamala Harris! Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden's running mate turned up via a video call as the two musicians went head-to-head on Verzuz, a web series on Apple Music and Instagram, which pits musicians against each other in a friendly battle.
“I think someone’s coming,” Brandy said, smiling. “Oh my God. Is this like, a surprise or something?”
After a few seconds of mystery, Harris popped up on the screen, met with utter looks of joy from Monica and Brandy, who later admitted she was “fangirling.” And the love was reciprocated, with Harris placing her hand near her heart while declaring, “I’m such a huge fan of both of you.”
Harris wasn't the only political powerhouse paying attention to the battle. Former first lady, Michelle Obama, was also tuned in and even left enthusiastic comments on the broadcast.
"This is my jam!" she wrote at one point.
"Tell them Monica!" she also chimed in.
The session marked the first time Brandy and Monica had been in the same room for at least eight years, and more than 1.1 million people tuned in to watch on Verzuz’s Instagram Live channel.
The two kicked things off by dedicating the battle to late actor, Chadwick Boseman, whose death from colon cancer was confirmed on Friday. Referring to Boseman as a "king," they also saluted late legends including Whitney Houston, Kobe Bryant and Nipsey Hussle, with Brandy dedicating her song, "Missing You" to the late stars.
Brandy also performed an acapella version of Sam Cooke's "A Change Is Gonna Come," as well as her song, "Best Friend," which she dedicated to her brother, Ray J, who came up and hugged her mid-song.
Monica and Brandy -- who collaborated on the 1998 smash, “The Boy Is Mine” -- also addressed the drama they faced in their friendship in the past. Monica said she admired what Brandy has achieved musically and endured personally and that it was “time for us to have the conversation that was had earlier" (presumably referring to the two making amends).
Brandy responded: “And, I just need you to know that I have the utmost love and respect for you as well, no matter the times where it seemed like I didn’t.” She also praised Monica for the longevity of her career and how she never gave up, “no matter what you’ve been through.”
In another touching moment from the event, Brandy offered to help Monica in any way that she can when it comes to her ex-boyfriend, Corey Miller, aka C-Murder, who is serving a life sentence in prison after being convicted for the 2002 murder of teenager, Steven Thomas, in 2009.
During Verzuz, Monica described Miller -- who many believe is innocent -- as a "special" person in her life, who she will continue advocating for. "Prison reform is something so many of us believe in, heavily," she said. "So, we're just rallying around him and trying to keep screaming, 'Free C-Murder' 'til it's backwards.'"
Monica also danced to C-Murder's song "Down For My N****s" while discussing the imprisoned star.
She and Brandy closed out the three-hour event with "The Boy Is Mine" before hugging and walking off together.
Meanwhile, more than two decades after “The Boy Is Mine,” actor Mekhi Phifer reprised his role as “the boy” in the song’s video, for a teaser for the Verzuz battle. He also reflected on his role in the video in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, noting there was “some tension” on set.
“I think Brandy and her camp were used to having all the attention on her, in some respects,” he said. “At this point, Brandy had played Moesha and had hit singles and had already released an album. And Monica was up-and-coming and doing her thing. So, there may have been some tension there but I didn't really see it there until maybe a little bit later."
Ohhh sh*t!! 😲🤯😳 The original Boy Is Mine @MekhiPhifer came out the cut 22 years later for #Verzuz tonight! 💯 This definitely makes it official as the Super Bowl of Livestreams! 🔥🔥🔥
Monica recently told ET that she hoped the Verzuz battle would lay to rest ongoing talk of drama between the pair, who also collaborated on 2012 song, “It All Belongs to Me."
“We've long removed ourselves from the dramatics of it, but we're gonna have a very in-depth conversation that may possibly be shared even with the audience because there's a lot that happens -- the fans have no idea what really took place, what really caused the initial friction,” she said.