Ashanti and Keyshia Cole will appear in separate locations for the upcoming Verzuz battle

When Swizz Beatz and Timbaland first launched their celebrated Verzuz series, artists would face off via social media, rather than in person. Now the series is returning to that format. 

On Friday, the duo announced the next battle between Ashanti and Keyshia Cole has been postponed and will no longer be in person. 

“As COVID-19 number continue to increase, safety is a top priority,” read a statement shared on the Verzuz Twitter. “As much as we enjoy having everyone together in the same room, to protect the artists and everyone who works with us in putting the shows together, we’ll be going back to separate locations for a bit. We’re excited for the next few events, and look forward to getting back to the show in the coming weeks.”

Organizers added that the Ashanti vs. Keyshia Cole Verzuz is now “coming soon,” though it has already been postponed once. After Ashanti contracted COVID-19 last December, the event was pushed to Saturday, Jan. 9th. 

As fans await the new date, many hope returning the series to its socially-distanced stage won’t bring the same WiFi problems that plagued Nelly and Ludacris‘ choppy battle in May.  

Verzuz was originally introduced last year as a socially-distanced show over Instagram Live, in light of the pandemic. As the series gained millions of followers and expanded to Apple Music, artists starting meeting in person for more intimate performances, such as Beenie Man and Bounty Killa‘s in-person battle in Jamaica.

By Rachel George
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