D’Angelo has been announced as the next performer on Verzuz but he won't be battling any of his peers, instead, he’ll take the stage at the famed Apollo Theater with an unknown number of guest artists.Swizz Beatz and Timbaland unveiled the next participant in their informal concert series on Monday and asked fans to guess who he might be battling or performing alongside.
"Happy Valentine’s Day, loved ones. Our gift to you. ❤️ Live from the @ApolloTheater in Harlem. Who you think is pullin’ up to take on the King on Feb. 27? Sure to be a legendary night! D’Angelo (@thedangelo) and friends. Tune in on Saturday, Feb. 27 at 5 p.m. PT/8 p.m. ET live," the post said. The comment section was full of fun guesses on who might have the catalog to take on a legend like D’Angelo, with many floating names like Maxwell, Musiq Soulchild, Donell Jones, Raphael Saadiq, Anthony Hamilton, Lauryn Hill and Angie Stone.The 47-year-old will be one of the most elusive participants in the Verzuz series. He last released music in 2014, with his critically-acclaimed, chart-topping, Grammy-winning album Black Messiah.  The Apollo Theater is a special place for D’Angelo because it's where he got his start. As a teen, the self-taught pianist won the amateur talent competition three weeks in a row before finding music industry success, according to Rolling Stone. In an Instagram Live interview with D-Nice where he announced the Verzuz, D’Angelo spoke about the Harlem, New York, venue and the event. "We just want to give some love to the people and reach back to the community that brought me to where I am. Just wanna give some love back and have some fun doing it," he said. "The Apollo, that's my house. That's where I got my start. I started competing there. I did amateur night three times. I was 16 and twice when I was 17. A lot of people don’t know, but that's where I really got my start, so it's like going back home. It's fitting," he added.
This will be the 24th Verzuz to take place since Swizz Beatz and Timbaland started the events at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. The most recent events have featured Jeezy and Gucci ManeAshanti and Keyshia Cole as well as E-40 and Too $hort. In his interview with D-Nice, D’Angelo also implied he may have an album on the way. “You see where we at. We in the studio,” he said. “We cutting a lil thang.”