Singer Ashanti said she tested positive for the coronavirus, forcing the organizers of the highly anticipated Verzuz battle with Keyshia Cole to postpone. The Apple Music event was supposed to occur Saturday night, but it has since been rescheduled for Jan. 9, 2021. The "Foolish" singer told fans she is "not in any pain" and hoped to see if she could take part in the Verzuz event from home.
"Hey y'all, I can't believe I'm saying this but I tested positive for COVID-19," Ashanti wrote in a note she shared on Saturday. "I'm ok and not in any pain. I'm actually down to do the Verzuz from my house... we're trying to figure it out." However, Verzuz and Apple announced the event will be rescheduled for next month. "First time this has struck us so close to showtime. We apologize to our incredible audience," the Verzuz post read. "Get well soon, Ashanti... Wear a mask, stay inside, and take COVID-19 seriously."
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After the show was rescheduled, Ashanti shared a video message with fans. "Never in a million years did I think I would get COVID," the singer said as she coughed. "I'm super bummed." She was "super ready" to do the Verzuz event from home, but Apple Music said they did not think there was enough time to get the tech set up. In the caption, she thanked fans for their support, adding, "We all go through lessons in life... and hopefully this serves as a lesson that this pandemic is very real."
Verzuz is a web series created by producers Timbaland and Swizz Beatz and started as a DJ battle during the pandemic. Previous events have included Brandy and Monica, Ludacris and Nelly, Teddy Riley and Babyface, and Erykah Badu and Jill Scott, notes USA Today. The show's new season started last month with a battle between Gucci Mane and Jeezy.
Ashanti did receive some criticism on social media after she revealed her positive test results because she had just returned from a vacation in November. She shared several photos with friends at Hodges Bay Antigua resort in October and November. She shared photos of herself and friends returning to the Teterboro Airport in New Jersey on Nov. 8. In the photo, only one of her friends wore a mask. "You were traveling around not wearing a mask," one person wrote on her Instagram page. "How did you think you wouldn't get Covid?"