The Isley Brothers and Earth, Wind & Fire faced off against each other for a special Easter edition of VERZUZ. Special guest host Steve Harvey hosted the show while the two iconic groups performed their songs and told some stories.
1. Steve Harvey’s Easter Suit
Dripped in a custom Dolce Gabbana monochrome periwinkle suit and fierce wide brim white hat, Harvey was proud to show up and show out with some of his childhood musical influences. He shared anecdotes about trying to mimic the periodic fashions of The Isley Brothers’ capes, and suits donned by the members of Earth, Wind & Fire. “I had to come with some flavor because you cannot mess with The Isley Brothers and Earth Wind & Fire,” the comedian and syndicated media personality said. The suit was topped off with a fine cuban cigar for peak pimp vibes.
He said this is the real Steve Harvey, not the Family feud host or the one with the talk show ??? @IAmSteveHarvey thanks for bringing the stylish suit out #Verzuz @SteveHarveyFM @SteveTVShow pic.twitter.com/rbpjNciMMQ
— Denzel Weaver (@DeaconDtw) April 5, 2021
2. Ron Isley’s Fur
With 66 platinum records under his belt, Ronald Isley stood out on stage initially appearing in luxurious black and white floor-length fur coat. While many fans didn’t recognize him at first due to his new all white beard, they couldn’t help but notice the Big Zaddy energy the king of R&B effortlessly served. In the second half, he and Ernie presented a costume change and switched from their black and silver looks to distinguished gold ensembles.
— ????????????™ (@JustCallMe_DT) April 5, 2021
3. Verdine’s Easter Press
As if Earth, Wind & Fire’s bassist would be caught slipping on the Lord’s day. Verdine’s signature long, straightened mane was shining, bouncing and behaving all night as The Elements sang along to their hits like “The Way of the World,” “Boogie Wonderland,” and “Let’s Groove.”
Some of my favorite screenshots of Verdine White’s hair being laid to the Gods ?? pic.twitter.com/gaV15JVbeV
— we respect black women round chea (@Farragami) April 5, 2021
4. The Enthusiasm to Perform
Three songs in, the Chicago-founded band Earth, Wind & Fire had to get up from their seats to outright perform “Keep Your Head To The Sky” in full three-part harmony complete with studio-quality lead vocals from front-man Philip Bailey. “In your living room, in the backyard, come on and sing it!” he said as the group reached the bridge of the iconic tune.
— So Extra Blog (@SoExtraBlog) April 5, 2021
Not to be outdone, Ernie grabbed his electric guitar to accompany his brother Ron on lead vocals to perform a stripped down rendition of “(At Your Best) You Are Love.” Many viewers couldn’t help but take the moment to remember Aaliyah who performed a 1994 cover on her debut album, Age Ain’t Nothing but a Number.
— Maliek Blade (@MaliekBlade) April 5, 2021
5. Ernie Isley on the Art of the Compliment
“We always wanted to use our songs to compliment women. Any of our love songs, if you listen to it from that point of view, it’s a compliment to a woman,” Ernie said of a music catalogue with over 30 studio albums. “Soul music is just different. Everyone loves a good song, and we’re sitting here with two groups who took the time to write ‘lyrically sound’ lyrics,” Harvey said.
“We were always trying, with our songs, to deliberately compliment a woman.” – Ernie Isley pic.twitter.com/iGaoQkAx72
— Grace Lands (@gloryabound) April 5, 2021
6. “Summer Breeze”
The Isley Brothers got everyone on their feet when DJ D-Nice played “Summer Breeze.” The feel-good vibe made Harvey two-step to the front of the stage as Earth, Wind & Fire stood to show their camaraderie. Likewise, Ron returned the favor by signing a duet with the late Earth, Wind & Fire lead Maurice White on “Be Ever Wonderful.”
— FreshestEVER? (@djfever215) April 5, 2021
7. The Samples
Music fans understand the influence these artists have had on the music industry for over five decades, and that impact can be found in popular samples from Ice Cube’s flawless use of The Isley Brothers’ “Footsteps in the Dark” for his hood tale “Today Was a Good Day” to The Notorious B.I.G.’s “Big Poppa” sample of “Between the Sheets” to Aaliyah’s rendition of “Choosey Lover.”
— Natasha Padilla (@NPadillaNYC) April 5, 2021
1990s hip hop bops “Party Ain’t A Party” by Queen Pen and “Jamboree” by Naughty By Nature samples Earth, Wind and Fire’s iconic “On Your Face.” Even Gospel track “I Get Joy” by Coko from SWV taps into the funky horn section.
8. The Duet
Just after Harvey poured a little Ciroc out for the homies, The Isley Brothers took the mic to belt out “For The Love of You” with a little help from Earth, Wind & Fire. Phillip Bailey joined Ron on lead and the other members of The Elements held down the background. The host even got the chance to live out his childhood fantasy of singing with the music icons, too!
— #1 BODY ROCKER (@ArieVogues) April 5, 2021
9. If “I Does This” Was A Person
The final song of the evening was Earth, Wind & Fire’s “September”— the official Electric Slide anthem. But, it was Ernie’s guitar solo that stole the show. As the night came to a close, The Isley Brothers’ final song was “Who’s That Lady.” Ernie used this time to shine and really showcased his skill, as the 69-year-old guitarist played lead with the instrument behind his back, upside down and with his tongue. He eat and left no crumbs!
Welp! Now we know we can’t go over 4 hours on IG live ?
— Verzuz (@verzuzonline) April 5, 2021
— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) April 5, 2021