Fans were devastated after the shocking news that NBA legend Kobe Bryant had been killed in a helicopter crash broke on Sunday, Jan 26. Bryant was beloved around the world, especially within the entertainment industry, which is why it's no surprise the 62nd Grammy Awards paid tribute to former basketball star later that night.
Prior to the show, Grammy Red Carpet Live correspondent Kevin Frazier said the Recording Academy was doing what it could to quickly put something together to honor the NBA star, according to Popculture.com
Lizzo, who kicked the show off with the opening performance of the night, started her performance by saying, "Tonight's for Kobe."
Then, Grammys host Alicia Keys somberly addressed the tragedy at the top of the show, saying, "Here we are together on music's biggest night, celebrating the artists that do it best. But to be honest with you, we're all feeling crazy sadness right now because earlier today, Los Angeles, America, and the whole wide world lost a hero. And we're literally standing here, heartbroken in the house that Kobe Bryant built. Kobe and his daughter Gianna and all of those have been tragically lost today are in our spirit, in our hearts, and our prayers, they're in this building. And I would like to ask everybody to take a moment and just hold them inside if you. Hold them inside of you, and share our strength and our support with their families. We never imagined in a million years we'd have to start the show like this never never never never never never. So we wanted to do something that could describe a tiny bit how we all feel right now."
She was then joined by Boyz II Men for a mournful rendition of "It's So Hard to Say Good Bye."
In advance of the show, the Los Angeles Staples Center, the site of the Grammys ceremony, displayed an in memoriam image of Bryant on the screens outside the stadium. The non-televised portion of the Grammys kicked off with interim Recording Academy chief Harvey Mason Jr., asking for a moment of silence for Bryant "since we are in his house." Many of the night's earlier winners and presenters moved about somberly, but Steve Pamon, who produced Homecoming: A Film By Beyonce said "Rest in peace Kobe, we love you," while accepting the award for Best Music Film.
Fans gathered outside Staples Center to pay tribute to Byrant, though officials asked people to go home in light of the awards going on later in the evening.
Bryant was a 18-time all star and two-time Olympic gold medalist, and he played with the Los Angeles Lakers for 20 years before retiring in 2016. His death was first reported by TMZ along with confirmed reports that Bryant was one of nine people killed in the accident, which included eight passengers and one pilot. Rumors that former NBA star and actor Rick Fox was on board were quickly debunked. However, Bryant's 13-year-old daughter, Gianna Maria Onore — a.k.a Gigi — was later confirmed to be another victim of the crash.
The music industry isn't the only one mourning Bryant though. As soon as the news broke, celebrities from all corners of the industry, especially other athletes, shared their heartfelt words of grief on social media.