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USA – 2012 Bonnaroo Music Festival

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D’Angelo fans may want to clear their schedules next weekend because he’s about to bless the culture with a rare appearance on the next episode of Verzuz with a surprise twist. 

The R&B star will perform at the historic Apollo Theater in Harlem, where some of Black music’s most famous performers have graced the stage.    

Happy Valentine’s Day, loved ones. Our gift to you,” the announcement read from Verzuz’s Instagram page. “Live from the @ApolloTheater in Harlem. Who you think is pullin’ up to take on the King on February 27th? Sure to be a legendary night!”

The upcoming episode breaks from the series’ original format of two well-known artists, songwriters, or producers going track-for-track for 20 rounds.  Instead, the “Devil’s Pie” singer will join the stage with “friends,” hinting that some of his star-studded collaborators from his prized catalog could make an appearance.  

The element of surprise is definitely at play. Still, fans may witness the return of Method Man and Red Man with “Left & Right” from the third song off of his second studio album Voodoo, Erykah Badu with “Your Precious Love” off of the High School High soundtrack, “Be Here” with Raphael Saadiq from his Instant Vintage album,  or “Nothing Even Matters” with Lauryn Hill from The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill.

This particular episode could also be one of the most elaborate efforts from co-founders Swizz Beatz and Timbaland, thanks to their lucrative deal with Apple TV.  Their new budget allowed for the episode featuring E-40 and Too Short to cost a whopping $500,000, and that was just at an undisclosed location with the artists and their DJs in front of the camera.  D’Angelo with famous friends in tow at a historically Black theater during Black History Month could make for a very elite viewing experience.  

D’Angelo, born Michael Archer in Virginia, has notoriously spaced out album releases since debuting on the scene with his first project Brown Sugar in 1995. The classic Neo-Soul Voodoo followed in 2000, earning rave reviews and eventually nostalgia among fans until breaking his 14-year hiatus with his third studio album Black Messiah

By those calculations, this could give way for new music since we’re at the seventh-year mark. Plus, Verzuz contenders usually appear on the platform to debut new projects. Hopefully, the reclusive R&B legend chooses to show mercy on his loyal followers with something fresh to vibe to again. 

Catch D’Angelo and friends next Saturday, February 27th at 8 pm ET live on @VerzuzTV on Instagram or in HD on Apple Music.