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Taylor Swift Pays Tribute to Kobe Bryant with a Pendant Necklace—and Vanessa Bryant Responds to the Gesture

 Taylor Swift and Vanessa Bryant.
Taylor Swift and Vanessa Bryant.

In further proof that there’s no one in the world of celebrity that Taylor Swift doesn’t know, Swift is close to the Bryant family, led by Vanessa Bryant—whose husband, Kobe, and daughter Gianna were killed in a helicopter crash four years ago this month. Perhaps aware of the impending anniversary, on Thursday Swift accessorized that day’s look with a delicate silver necklace with a deeper meaning, seen while Swift was out walking in New York City.

Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift

The piece was designed for Mambacita Foundation’s capsule collection with jewelry designer Zoë Chicco, who teamed up with Bryant to celebrate both Kobe and Gianna. The nonprofit Mambacita Foundation was created by Bryant in honor of her late husband and daughter. Swift chose a round pendant from the collection that featured the words “Bet on yourself,” a phrase Kobe used to say frequently. The phrase was surrounded by a circle of diamonds, Us Weekly reports. Bryant shared a photo of Swift’s accessory on her Instagram Story Friday and captioned the post “Love you,” adding hearts and “Swifties” stickers.

Bryant also realized that Swift referenced Kobe’s “Bet on yourself” mantra during her TIME Person of the Year interview, which ran in December. In it, Swift said “We met with all the studios, and we met with all the streamers, and we sized up how it was perceived and valued, and if they had high hopes and dreams for it. Ultimately, I did what I tend to do more and more often these days, which is to bet on myself.” After realizing this was another nod to her late husband, Bryant shared a screenshot of the TIME article on her Instagram Story, writing “Love you” once again.

Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift

Swift’s bond with Kobe dates back to 2015, when the basketball legend surprised her during her 1989 Tour stop in L.A. To celebrate her record 16 sold out shows at the Lakers’ arena, Kobe—who played his NBA career with the L.A. team—presented Swift with a championship banner that would hang from the rafters. “Friends hang from time to time but banners hang forever @taylorswift,” Kobe wrote on Instagram at the time.

After Kobe and Gianna’s tragic deaths, Swift sent condolences to Bryant and her other three daughters Natalia, Bianka, and Capri. “My heart is in pieces hearing the news of this unimaginable tragedy,” Swift wrote on Twitter (now X) in January 2020. “I can’t fathom what the families are going through. Kobe meant so much to me and to us all. Sending my prayers, love, and endless condolences to Vanessa and the family and anyone who lost someone on that flight.”

Taylor Swift and Kobe Bryant
Taylor Swift and Kobe Bryant

Last August, Bryant and her children went to Swift’s Eras Tour concert in L.A. During the show, six-year-old Bianka was gifted the “22” hat in the middle of the show, and the moment ended up in Swift’s wildly successful concert film, released in October.