2020 Grammy Awards host Alicia Keys acknowledged the shocking death of Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna "Gigi" Bryant at the start of the show. "We're literally standing here, heartbroken, in the house that Kobe Bryant built," Keys said. She brought out Boyz II Men to performed their a capella song "It's So Hard to Say Goodbye." Keys later sang a parody which recapped the year's biggest artists, and mentioned Bryant yet again. Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.
Following Lizzo's opening performance at the 2020 Grammy Awards, host Alicia Keys took a few minutes to acknowledge the shocking death of Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna "Gigi" Bryant. This year's Grammys were held at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California — home to the LA Lakers where Bryant spent his career as a professional basketball player in the NBA. "Here we are together on music's biggest night celebrating the artists that do it best," Keys said. "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." Keys went on to mention Gianna, Bryant's 13-year-old daughter who was also killed in the helicopter crash.
"I would like to ask everybody to take a moment and just hold them inside of you," Keys said. "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 then brought out Boyz II Men, who performed their acapella song "It's So Hard to Say Goodbye" along with Keys. Many celebrities in the audience were shown crying or close to tears. You can watch a full video of the opening tribute below (Boyz II Men and Keys begin the song at 1:40).
After the song ended, Keys gave one last message to the audience in the Staples Center. "I know we're going to do what we're here to do. I know that we're all going to join together and do what we do in happy times and challenging times," Keys said. "We're going to sing together, we're going to laugh together, we're going to dance together, we're going to cry together. We're going to bring it all together, we're going to love together, and we're going to make sure that we are celebrating the most powerful energy, the most beautiful thing in the world, the one thing that has the power to bring us all together and that's music. It's the most healing thing in the world." A few minutes later, Keys then sat down at the piano and quietly played as she addressed the audience once more. "Let me be honest with y'all," Keys began. "It's been a hell of a week. Damn. This is a really … It's a serious one. Real talk, there's a lot going on."
"I'm proud to be here as an artist for the artists with the people and I feel the energy of all the beautiful artists in this room," Keys said. "It's going to be an amazing night. Amazing night. Because it's a new decade! A new decade! It's time for newness. We refuse the negative energy, we refuse the old systems. Feel me on that. We want to respected and safe in our diversity. We want to be shifting towards realness and inclusivity. So tonight we want to celebrate the people, the artists who put themselves on the line and share their truths with us." After a couple of minutes of riffing, Keys spoke about Bryant once more. "You see us? You see us? We're unstoppable," Keys said. "We get to be who we want to be, we get to be different, we get to be unique, we get to be everything. Right now. So I'm looking forward to being here together with all of us, again. Celebrating, celebrating this music because I know how much Kobe loved music. I know how much he loved music. So we gotta make this a celebration in his honor. You know? He would want us to keep the vibrations high. You know music is that one language we can all speak, it don't matter where we're from. We all understand it." She then went on to sing a parody version of Lewis Capaldi's "Someone You Loved," which recapped the year's biggest artists. Watch the video of this moment below (Keys addresses Bryant's love for music at the 2:00 mark):
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'He was my everything': Vanessa Bryant said she and Kobe had 'hoped to grow old together' in a tearful eulogy to her late husband
Speaking at a public memorial at Staples Center on Monday, a grieving Vanessa Bryant gave thousands...Speaking at a public memorial at Staples Center on Monday, a grieving Vanessa Bryant gave thousands of people glimpses of Kobe Bryant when he wasn't on the basketball court. The longtime Los Angeles Laker died on January 26 in a helicopter crash that killed his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, along with seven other passengers. "He would do anything for me," Vanessa Bryant said of her late husband, who was also a "doting" and "hands-on" father. "May you both rest in peace and have fun in Heaven. Until we meet again. We love you both, and miss you. Forever and always, Mommy," she said to Kobe and Gigi at the conclusion of her speech. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. In an emotional speech that had more than a few guests crying, Vanessa Bryant said on Monday that God knew her husband and daughter "couldn't be on this earth without each other. He had to bring them home to Heaven together." Kobe and Gianna Bryant were among nine people who died in a helicopter crash in the Calabasas hills on January 26. Nearly 20,000 people were expected to attend the Celebration of Life that was held in memory of all the victims at the Staples Center, home to the Los Angeles Lakers, with whom the NBA icon spent his entire career. In her eulogy, Vanessa Bryant shared with people an intimate look into the man they know and revere as a basketball legend. "I couldn't see him as a celebrity nor just an incredible basketball player," she said. "He was my sweet husband, and the beautiful father of our children. He was mine. He was my everything." 'He would do anything for me' The pair had been together for nearly 20 years. Vanessa Bryant, now 37, was 17 when they met and Kobe Bryant, 21. "I was his first girlfriend, his first love, his wife, his best friend, his confidant, and his protector," she said. "He was the most amazing husband. Kobe loved me more than I could ever express or put into words ... He would do anything for me. I have no idea how I deserved a man that loved and wanted me more than Kobe." Vanessa Bryant also credited Kobe Bryant, her "soulmate," as the "romantic one" in their marriage, who looked forward to and made special plans for Valentine's Day and their anniversary. "He gave me the actual notebook and the blue dress Rachel McAdams wore in 'The Notebook' movie," she recalled, adding that he picked it because that's what Allie was wearing when she reunited with Noah. "We had hoped to grow old together like the movie," Vanessa Bryant said. "We really had an amazing love story. We loved each other with our whole beings. Two perfectly imperfect people making a beautiful family, and raising our sweet and amazing girls." 'MVP of girl dads' "Kobe was the MVP of girl dads — or MVD," Bryant continued. "He never left the toilet seat up. He always told the girls how beautiful and smart they are. He taught them how to be brave and how to keep pushing forward when things get tough." She also shared funny stories about their time together, all of which highlighted his love for his family and children. After retiring from the NBA in 2018, Kobe Bryant opted to pick up and drop off their children from school. "When Kobe was still playing, I used to show up an hour early to be the first in line to pick up Natalia and Gianna from school, and I told him he couldn't drop the ball once he took over. He was late — one time — and we most definitely let him know that I was never late." After that he was at his girls' school an hour and 20 minutes before school let out, Vanessa Bryant said of Kobe Bryant's "doting," "hands-on" and "present" way of being a father. Never too busy for his family He was similarly "tender" toward her as well. "Kobe somehow knew where I was at all times, specifically when I was late to his games," Vanessa Bryant remembered. "He would worry about me if I wasn't in my seat at the start of each game. He would ask security where I was at the first time out of the first quarter. And my smart a-- would tell him that he wasn't going to drop 81 points within the first 10 minutes of the game." Eventually he realized that as a parent it's not always possible to stick to a schedule, she said, but "the fact that he could play on an intense professional level and still be concerned by making sure we made it to the game safely was just another example of how family came first to him. One of the greatest joys of Kobe Bryant's life was being able to coach Gigi's basketball team. "She was thoughtful like him," Vanessa Bryant shared. "They were so easy to love. Everyone naturally gravitated towards them. They were funny, happy, silly, and they loved life. They were so full of joy and adventure." Kobe had hoped Bianca and Capri would follow in his footsteps so he could spend extra time with them, Vanessa Bryant said. But that wasn't to be. "Now they won't have their daddy and sister here to teach them, and that is truly a loss I do not understand. But I'm so thankful Kobe heard Coco say 'Dada,'" she said. 'Until we meet again' His tragic death means their family will miss out on all the memories that had yet to create together, from small moments like his youngest children starting kindergarten to being able to walk all four girls down the aisle one day. "But I want my daughters to know and remember the amazing person, husband, and father he was" and the effort he put into empowering the youth, she said. In a voice that broke, Vanessa Bryant spoke directly to her husband and asked him to enjoy his time with their daughter. "Babe, you take care of our Gigi, and I got Nani, BB, and Coco," she said, her voice breaking. "We are still the best team. We love and miss you, booboo and Gigi. May you both rest in peace and have fun in Heaven. Until we meet again. We love you both, and miss you. Forever and always, Mommy." Read more: 'She was so full of life': Vanessa Bryant laments not being able to watch her daughter grow up at the memorial for Gianna and Kobe 'God I wish they were here': Vanessa Bryant described her raw grief at losing Kobe and Gianna, alongside a video of them playing basketball Vanessa Bryant posted a heartbreaking tribute to Kobe and Gianna: 'There aren't enough words to describe our pain right now' Vanessa Bryant announced a fund to direct donations to other families of victims of the helicopter crash that killed Kobe and Gianna Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Most maps of Louisiana aren't entirely right. Here's what the state really looks like.
LeBron James gave a loving eulogy to his 'brother' Kobe Bryant before the Lakers first game since tragic helicopter accident
The Los Angeles Lakers offered an emotional tribute to Kobe Bryant on Friday night before their...The Los Angeles Lakers offered an emotional tribute to Kobe Bryant on Friday night before their first game since his tragic death. After a series of performances and a video remembrance, LeBron James walked out to the center of the court to give a speech in honor of the Lakers legend. LeBron James had a speech prepared, but threw it aside in favor of speaking from the heart while speaking about his "brother." Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. LeBron James offered a loving remembrance of Lakers legend Kobe Bryant on Friday night at the Staples Center. The Lakers were set to play the Portland Trail Blazers in their first game since Bryant died in a helicopter crash on Sunday just outside Los Angeles, along with his daughter Gianna and seven others on board. Ahead of the game, the team and fans celebrated Bryant's life with a number of tributes, from wearing No. 8 and 24 during pregame warmups and a 24-second moment of silence, to performances by Usher, Boyz II Men, and cellist Ben Hong. After those ceremonies, LeBron took the center of the court. James first acknowledged all of those affected by the tragedy, reading off the names of all nine victims on board. He then pulled out a piece of paper. "Now, I've got something written down. They asked me to kind of stay on course," James began. "But Laker Nation I would be selling you short if I read from this s---, so I'm gonna speak from the heart." LeBron told the crowd to "lean on the shoulders of their family," and celebrated Laker Nation and how the team and its fans had come together over their week of mourning. "Now I know at some point we'll have a memorial for Kobe, but I look at this as a celebration tonight," James said. "Kobe is a brother to me," James said. "From the time I was in high school, watching him from afar, to getting in this league at 18, watching him up close. All of the battles that we had throughout my career. The one thing that we always shared was that determination to just want to win, and just want to be great. And the fact that I'm here now means so much to me. I want to continue along with my teammates, to continue his legacy not only for this year, but for as long as we can play the game of basketball, because that's what Kobe Bryant would want." "So in the words of Kobe Bryant, 'Mamba Out.' But in the of us, 'Not forgotten.' Live on brother." James and Bryant shared a close relationship as NBA peers, Team USA teammates, and as Los Angeles Lakers. The day before Bryant's death, James had passed him for third-place on the all-time NBA scoring list. Bryant's last tweet was congratulating James for his accomplishment and his continuing effort to "move the game forward." With his speech on Friday night, James did just that. Read more: Vanessa Bryant announced a fund to direct donations to other families of victims of the helicopter crash that killed Kobe and Gianna 'My spirit just left my body': Shaquille O'Neal gives an emotional speech about teammate Kobe Bryant Jimmy Fallon shares a story about meeting Kobe Bryant at a party and going on a beer run in a touching tribute to the Lakers legend Tracy McGrady says Kobe Bryant used to tell him early in his career that he wanted to 'die young' and be 'immortalized' How Kobe Bryant became one of the NBA's all-time greatest players and an almost mythical figure in the processJoin the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: 5 things about the NFL that football fans may not know
Trump and Obama send condolences to Bryant familyDaughter Gianna, 13, among nine people killed in CaliforniaAmerica...Trump and Obama send condolences to Bryant familyDaughter Gianna, 13, among nine people killed in CaliforniaAmerica remains in shock over the death of Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna in a helicopter crash on Sunday.It emerged on Monday that the helicopter received special clearance to fly in foggy conditions that had grounded police air operations. Continue reading...