Only hours after news broke of the death of Kobe Bryant, event organizers and music artists scampered to create fitting tributes to the Los Angeles Lakers legend.
Kobe Bryant and eight others died on Sunday morning after the NBA player’s personal helicopter crashed into a hillside in Calabasas, California. The future NBA Hall of Famer was only 41-years-old, and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna also passed away in the helicopter accident.
For 20 seasons, Kobe Bryant dominated the NBA in his home court of the Staples Center. Soon after the tragic news broke that Kobe had died, Lakers fans gathered at the Staples Center to pay their respects to the NBA great in an impromptu vigil.
The only problem is that police closed down the area near the Staples Center because the venue was hosting the 2020 Grammy’s.
But once the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards began, the tributes to Kobe went from outside the Staples Center to inside the Staples Center. Instead of Lakers fans paying their respects to Black Mamba, it was music artists who honored the late basketball legend with emotional musical performances.
During the Grammy’s, a light was shined on Kobe’s jerseys, which were retired by the Lakers on December 18, 2017.
Grammy’s host Alicia Keys opened up the music awards show by saying: “We’re literally standing here, heartbroken, in the house that Kobe Bryant built.”
“We never imagined in a million years we’d have to start the show like this,” Keys said. “So we wanted to do something that could describe, a tiny bit, how we all feel right now.”
Keys along with Boyz II Men performed a somber rendition of the 1992 classic End of the Road. The R&B group, which began in Philadelphia as did Kobe Bryant, belted out a heartfelt acapella version of their song.
Lizzo, who won the Grammy’s award for Best Pop Solo Performance for Truth Hurts, proclaimed, “Tonight is for Kobe!” The Lizzo sang her hit song Cuz I Love You.
Before the Grammy’s started, there was a moment of silence held for Kobe Bryant.
You can see all of the Kobe Bryant tributes from the sports world and celebrities, including Dwayne Wade, Bill Russell, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Jerry West, Tom Brady, the Wu-Tang Clan, and more HERE.