Friday night’s (June 19) Verzuz was a special one, as it commemorated Juneteenth — Freedom Day for African Americans. Music is heavily rooted in the African culture and that has carried on through the African American experience until this day. Tonight’s battle between Alicia Keys and John Legend was even more special because they are significant contributors to the fabric of American music. Keys has over 15 GRAMMYs and John Legend is an EGOT. This Verzuz’s expression of freedom through music was entertaining, aspirational and inspiring.

While Keys walked away tonight’s big winner, Legend certainly gave a good fight. Both artists have unforgettable standout singles, perfect-match duets, features, and even writing and production credits on some of the biggest records of the past two decades.

Check out REVOLT’s scoreboard of Alicia Keys and John Legend’s Verzuz below!

ROUND ONE: “Ghetto Story” (Alicia Keys) vs. “Everything is Everything” (John Legend)

To begin the evening with some high energy, both artists played uptempo features. Keys opted for “Ghetto Story” by Baby Cham featuring her on the hook in the rugged calypso chune. Just as our hips found the grove, Legend dropped the bomb with a little known fact about Lauryn Hill’s “Everything is Everything.” The pianist is the featured keys in the track. He had a hit song on the radio at 19 years old. That humble flex gives him the W this round.

Winner: John Legend

John Legend leads 1-0

ROUND TWO: “Underdog ” (Alicia Keys) vs. Selfish (John Legend)

Next Keys performed her most recent single “Underdog,” which has a folksy swing to it. The lyrics are relevant to today’s climate because it roots for those who are most underserved. Legend took it back to 2004’s Slum Village feature “Selfish.” The Detroit flavor of J. Dilla production and early Kanye West feature secured the W for him this round.

Winner: John Legend

John Legend leads 2-0

ROUND THREE: “Karma” (Alicia Keys) vs. “Used to Love U” (John Legend)

This round was a tough one. Keys reminded us of her Hip Hop/Classical fusion record “Karma” from her second studio album, The Diary of Alicia Keys. Legend opted for his debut single “Used to Love U.” While both songs are forever a part of the culture, Keys really broke barriers with her track. So, wins this round.

Winner: Alicia Keys

John Legend leads 2-1

ROUND FOUR: “Gangsta Lovin’” (Alicia Keys) vs. “So High” (John Legend)

They split the board this round for the fans. Keys reminded us of her summer, pool party jam “Gangsta Lovin’” feature on Eve’s 2002 Billboard Hot 100 hit, while Legend made us sentimental with his romantic love ballad “So High.” In the spirit of a good Juneteenth kickback, Keys takes this round.

Winner: Alicia Keys

Tied at 2-2

ROUND FIVE: “My Boo” (Alicia Keys) vs. “Ordinary People” (John Legend)

For a clear step into the lead, Keys pulled out 2004’s GRAMMY award-winning duet with Usher, “My Boo.” In the spirit of #BlackLove, Legend kept the feelings flowing with his own GRAMMY award-winning ballad “Ordinary People.” Both were strong contenders, but Keys takes the W this round, too.

Winner: Alicia Keys

Alicia Keys leads 3-2

ROUND SIX: “New York” (Alicia Keys) vs. “They Say” (John Legend)

This round was more of a regional battle. If you’re from the East Coast, you might say Keys won. If you’re from the Midwest, you’d choose Legend. The NYC native reached for her JAY-Z feature with the anthem “New York.” Legend pulled out the Common album cut “They Say” featuring himself and West. The tough decision simply came down to public recognition, and therefore, Keys wins.

Winner: Alicia Keys

Alicia Keys leads 4-2

ROUND SEVEN: “Teenage Love Affair” (Alicia Keys) vs. “Heaven” (John Legend)

Keys brought youthful energy this round with “Teenage Love Affair,” a fun song about an innocent crush on her object of affection. Meanwhile, Legend kept it grown and sexy with “Heaven,” a song about a nasty breakup with a special lover. It was the Kanye West Soul beat that does it for many. This round goes to Legend.

Winner: John Legend

Alicia Keys leads 4-3

ROUND EIGHT: “Unthinkable” (Alicia Keys) vs. “Another Again” (John Legend)

Slowing it back down, Keys’ “Unthinkable” took the evening to another level. If you forgot how hard the ethereal sound of violin strings juxtaposed the hard knock of 808 drum beats, then you were reminded tonight. And you can’t forget the Drake backing vocals. Still, Legend pulled out an equally passionate ballad about a toxic relationship that just feels too good to end. Both songs have the ability to make you pull your lover close, Unthinkable is just another vibe.

Winner: Alicia Keys

Alicia Keys leads 5-3

ROUND NINE: “If I Ain’t Got You” (Alicia Keys) vs. “This Time” (John Legend)

Keys sung “If I Ain’t Got You” in full “MTV Unplugged” fashion and when we say she SANG, yes S-A-N-G. Sis put it down. Alicia went up another one.

Winner: Alicia Keys

Alicia Keys leads 6-3

ROUND TEN: “Try Sleeping with a Broken Heart” (Alicia Keys) vs. “Tonight” (John Legend)

The electric sounds of “Try Sleeping with a Broken Heart” changed up the vibe, but was no match for Legend’s 2012 GRAMMY award-winning track “Tonight.” He joked about the song being associated with a steamy scene from the movie Think Like A Man, and the comments backed him up.

Winner: John Legend

Alicia Keys leads 6-4

ROUND ELEVEN: “A Woman’s Worth” (Alicia Keys) vs. “Wake Up Everybody” (John Legend)

Keys kept it sexy while Legend got political. While she had the ladies on her side with “A Woman’s Worth,” Legend spoke to the times with The Roots feature “Wake Up Everybody.” A duet with “It Kills Me” songstress Melonie Fiona, the song is a remake of Harold Melvine & The Bluenotes’ 1975 record. Keys takes this round for doing the heavy lifting all by herself.

Winner: Alicia Keys

Alicia Keys leads 7-4

ROUND TWELVE: “Diary” (John Legend) vs. “Blame Game” (Alicia Keys)

Another tough round! Keys performed “Diary” and shared that she had features from two iconic R&B acts: Tony! Toni! Toné! and Stokley Williams of Mint Condition. She sang the song with so much passion that even Legend had to sing along. For his own round, he pulled out a West feature from the rapper’s My Dark And Twisted Fantasy. The record “Blame Game” definitely had the comment section buzzing.

Winner: Alicia Keys

Alicia Keys leads 8-4

ROUND THIRTEEN: “Like You’ll Never See Me Again” (Alicia Keys) vs. “Magnificent” (John Legend)

Staying in her amorous zone, Keys went on to play “Like You’ll Never See Me Again.” Feeling the Prince vibes, Legend pointed out the influence before taking us down to Miami for a Rick Ross feature in “Magnificent.” The song was such a vibe that someone wheeled out a cart with Ciroc Watermelon on ice! That was so smooth and therefore, Legend takes the W this round.

Winner: John Legend

Alicia Keys leads 8-5

ROUND FOURTEEN: “Superwoman” (Alicia Keys) vs. “American Boy” (John Legend)

Though her voice was terrific all night, Keys sort of threw us off with “Superwoman” after such a scene setting moment. Just when we felt like we were at the all-white party… Anyway, Legend took the opportunity to remind us that he’s provided bangers for artists on his own label, one of which is “American Boy” by British singer Estelle.

Winner: John Legend

Alicia Keys leads 8-6

ROUND FIFTEEN: “You Don’t Know My Name” (Alicia Keys) vs. “Rich Forever” (John Legend)

This round was the cutest. While Keys performed “You Don’t Know My Name” live, she even did the spoken word portion where she’s telling her crush from the coffee shop that she’s feeling him with Legend backing her with the piano and a few doo wops. After supporting her, Legend played another Maybach Music record “Rich Forever,” a track he did with Rick Ross. Keys wins because she even lured in her opponent with the vibes.

Winner: Alicia Keys

Alicia Keys leads 9-6

ROUND SIXTEEN: “Unbreakable” (Alicia Keys) vs. “Green Light” (John Legend)

In the vein of even more #BlackLove, Keys performed “Unbreakable” with her keyboard reminding us of all the couples we’ve come to love including the Obamas. Former First Lady Michelle Obama was present in the comments, so the battlers took a moment to shout her out. Legend went on to play the party anthem “Green Light” featuring Andre 3000, the man who inspired the uptempo track by telling the singer, “Even Ray Charles got up from behind that piano.”

Winner: John Legend

Alicia Keys leads 9-7

ROUND SEVENTEEN: “In Common” (Alicia Keys) vs. “U Move, I Move” (John Legend)

Keeping the energy up, Keys played her world beat influenced track “In Common” while dancing along Legend whipped out his brand new single “U Move, I Move” from his album Bigger Love that was released today. The contemporary ballad features a duet with Jhene Aiko.

Winner: Alicia Keys

Alicia Keys leads 10-7

ROUND EIGHTEEN: “Girl on Fire” (Alicia Keys) vs. “All of Me” (John Legend)

“Girl on Fire” is a beautiful message about women empowerment. However, Legend took the win with “All of Me,” tightening the gap this round.

Winner: John Legend

Alicia Keys leads 10-8

ROUND NINETEEN: “Fallin’” (Alicia Keys) vs. “Higher” (John Legend)

Keys pulled out her breakout Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 debut single “Fallin’” in all of her glory and again, Legend backed her with harmony’s sprinkled throughout the performance. Then, he reached for his Khaled feature alongside the late L.A. rapper Nipsey Hussle. The song also won a GRAMMY. While both songs hold their special places in history, “Fallin’” is one of those classics that are performed around the world regardless of language barriers. “Fallin’” is a feeling.

Winner: Alicia Keys

Alicia Keys leads 11-8

ROUND TWENTY: “No One” (Alicia Keys) vs. “Glory” (John Legend)

Keys enjoyed her victory lap (no pun intended) and played “No One,” while Legend left us with just the Juneteenth reinforcement we need with Oscar award-winning Selma soundtrack feature with Common, “Glory.”

Winner: John Legend

Alicia Keys leads 11-9

WINNER: Alicia Keys