Monica purportedly punched Brandy in the face moments before they were set to perform their hit duet, "The Boy Is Mine" at the 1998 MTV VMAs, though both denied this at the time through their respective managers.
There were no fists flying this time around, but fans could still feel the tension at times coming through their screens as the woman faced off. Sure, there were lots of laughs and smiles, but was Brandy smiling more ... and more naturally?
Monica definitely wasn't smiling when Brandy made an early attempt at humor. While Brandy was talking about "kicking in doors," Brandy cracked a joke that it was her door.
Monica stopped dead in her tracks, turned to Brandy and said coldly, "I didn't say you."
"No you didn’t kick in my door," Brandy agreed, leaving Monica to ask why she would say it, then.
"I was trying to make a joke," said Brandy. "I was trying to work on my comedy."
"Does this mean you're not going to do the tour?" she asked, continuing with the jokes. Honestly, it just felt like two very different personalities at times, one very playful and the other more business.
It's hard to say if Monica was really upset at the moment, though some fans felt like Monica wasn't quite as over their feud as Brandy. Still Monica did counter with a joke of her own, cracking, "I only kick in doors when it involves the opposite sex." She also described the initial feud as "brilliant marketing" for their collaboration.
"I wanted to speak to you face to face," Monica told Brandy at one point. "The more we’re talked about, the more it came to be difficult, unnecessarily. And I really really am a straight shooter and I really do admire what you’ve done musically and what you’ve had to endure personally."
The women admitted they hadn't spoken in eight years prior to this battle, adding fuel to fan speculation.
"I have the utmost love and respect for you as well, for somebody to start at 12 years old," Brandy told Monica. "The longevity of your career, nobody [knows] what you’ve been through."
Aside from a few moments fans thought might indicate some lingering tension -- Monica told Brandy, "we are not a group," after Brandy joked they were -- this was mostly a love-fest and mostly about music, running across 21 rounds of "competition" and an epic three hours in duration. It was also a huge push to get out the vote.
Harris' surprise appearance set the mood off right, with heaps of praise for both women for advocating for Michelle Obama's When We All Vote registration initiative. "You both used your voices in such a powerful way and an extension of our voices is our vote, right?" she asked.
Both Brandy and Monica were clearly excited to see Harris pop up on the screen between them to kick things off, and they'd have probably been equally excited had they seen Michelle Obama herself show up in the fan scroll, writing, "This is my jam!"
And they weren't alone in throwing their support behind the R&B superstars. The Independent reports that the ladies broke a Verzuz record with a peak of 1.2 million concurrent views during the broadcast Monday night.
One video that quickly circulated after the night ended showed what happened after the battle, according to fans, which was nothing but love and admiration. Looks like that teased tour might still be on, after all. Well, maybe.
You can check that out below, as well as fan reactions from throughout, including declarations of victory for both sides!
This is what Brandy and Monica were actually doing after Verzuz while y’all were on here making memes about how they hate each other. Love them both 💕💕💕. Tonight was excellent. 10 yr old me got her whole life. pic.twitter.com/pVVKIqL87P
So now that the battle is over can we all agree to not compare Brandy and Monica they both have hits and can sing.... lmao that doesn’t even sound right. Brandy won. Goodnight #Verzuzpic.twitter.com/M7IDxHjnq5