With the Grammys taking place at the epicenter of Kobe Bryant’s illustrious career on Sunday night, it was only fitting that the annual music awards show be full of tributes to the fallen Los Angeles Lakers star.
Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, were among nine people killed in a helicopter crash early on Sunday morning in Calabasas, California. He was 41.
Lizzo started off the show with the words, “Tonight is for Kobe,” before performing her song, “Cuz I Love You.”
"Tonight is for Kobe."— Yahoo Sports (@YahooSports) January 27, 2020
Lizzo dedicates her Grammy's performance to the legend.pic.twitter.com/2qZVkxe74F
After her medley, host Alicia Keys quietly took the stage to officially open the show.
“To be honest with you, were all feeling crazy sadness right now,” Keys said. “Because earlier today, Los Angeles, America and the whole wide world lost a hero. We’re literally standing here heartbroken in the house that Kobe Bryant built. Right now, Kobe and his daughter Gianna, and all of those who have been tragically lost today, are in our spirits, in our hearts, in our prayers, and in this building.”
Keys then brought out Boyz II Men to sing their song “It’s So Hard To Say Goodbye To Yesterday.”
The song ended with the camera panning to both of Bryant’s jerseys hanging in the rafters at the Staples Center — Nos. 8 and 24 — which were illuminated throughout the awards show.
The Staples Center was the site of a massive memorial for Bryant throughout the day, where large crowds of people quickly gathered to honor the NBA great at the building where he played for almost all of his professional career.
“Thank you Kobe” and “MVP” chants echo around LA live pic.twitter.com/KgxrR78IYl— Zach Schwartz (@zachzachzach) January 26, 2020
The loss was felt on the red carpet at the arena, too, with many celebrities and attendees in shock just like the rest of the sports world.
“I’m devastated. I don’t know what else I can say,” Grammy nominee and Los Angeles native Billie Eilish said on the red carpet, via Variety. “I don’t know. It’s f---ing crazy. I don’t know. It’s really like, I don’t know. I feel like anything I say is not enough for what’s going on. My love to his whole family and everybody he knows, for real.”
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