Chart Beat

Gladys Knight & Patti LaBelle Earn Best Career Streaming Weeks After Verzuz Battle

Patti LaBelle and Gladys Knight
Jason Merritt/FilmMagic

Patti LaBelle and Gladys Knight at the 2007 BET Awards.

The Verzuz effect continues to work its magic as soul titans Gladys Knight and Patti LaBelle more than doubled their U.S. streaming totals in the days following their Sept. 13 contest. In addition, the Verzuz influx secures each singer the biggest streaming week of her career.

The pair combined for 4.1 million on-demand streams in the U.S. from Sept 13 – Sept. 16, according to preliminary figures from Nielsen Music/MRC Data, a period that covers the battle day and three subsequent days of residual activity. That sum compares to the 1.8 million that the duo together registered in the four days leading to the contest, Sept. 9 – Sept. 12, a gain of 119%.

Of the 4.1 million streams for Sept. 13 – 16, Knight’s catalog contributed 1.9 million to the tally. Extend that streaming window to Sept. 11 (a Friday, the widely used standard of the music industry’s streaming tracking week), and the six-day total grows to 2.45 million streams, ensuring Knight the best streaming week of her career, topping the 2 million earned in the week ending Aug. 8, 2019.

The legend, who served as the frontwoman of Gladys Knight and The Pips for a quarter-century before embarking on a solo career once the group disbanded in the 1980s, notched her highest audio streams with the classic “Midnight Train to Georgia.” The former Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 hit scored 505,000 plays in the Sept. 13 -16 window. “Neither One of Us (Wants to Be the First to Say Goodbye),” came in second, with 215,000 clicks, while “Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me” (154,000); “If I Were Your Woman” (111,000) and “Love Overboard” (87,000) rounded out the top five.

LaBelle, meanwhile, scored 2.2 million streams in the Sept. 13 -16 window, already outdoing her prior weekly best of 1.4 million streams, from the week ending Dec. 26, 2019. The 1984 hit “If You Only Knew” proved generated her strongest single-song result, with 344,000 audio streams, followed by the Michael McDonald duet “On My Own” (237,000) in second place, followed by “Love, Need and Want You” (187,000), “Somebody Loves You Baby (You Know Who It Is)” (168,000) and Labelle’s “Lady Marmalade” (126,000).

For the contest’s finale, another legendary pop and soul performer, Dionne Warwick, joined the pair to perform “That’s What Friends Are For” and the trio’s 1991 collaboration, “Superwoman.”

“Friends,” a Hot 100 chart-topper in 1986 as originally performed by Warwick, Knight, Elton John and Stevie Wonder, registered 137,000 on-demand audio streams, while “Superwoman” generated 71,000 clicks.

The soul titans’ Sept. 13 showdown drew 612,000 concurrent viewers at its peak on Instagram Live and 1.2 million attendees once Apple TV and Apple+ figures are included, according to a post on the Verzuz official Instagram page.