Starting on a somber note. The music community is paying tribute to Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, after the father-daughter duo died in a helicopter crash hours before the 2020 Grammys on Sunday, January 26.
Host Alicia Keys kicked off the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards at the Staples Center — where Bryant, 41, played home games for the Los Angeles Lakers for his 20-year career — with an emotional tribute. Fans of the NBA legend also gathered around the stadium after the news broke.
“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. We’re literally standing here heartbroken in the house that Kobe Bryant built,” Keys began. “Right now, Kobe and his daughter Gianna and all of those who have been tragically lost today are in our hearts.”
The musician was then joined by Boyz II Men to sing their song “It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday.”
Us Weekly confirmed that Bryant and Gianna were two of the nine people found dead after a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California, on Sunday. City officials later confirmed the teenager’s basketball teammate, the teammate’s parent and pilot also died in the crash.
Kobe and wife Vanessa Bryant shared four daughters: Natalia, 17, Gianna, Bianka, 3, and Capri, 7 months. The athlete often gushed about Gianna’s love for basketball before the tragic accident.
“Before Gigi got into basketball I hardly watched it, but now that’s she’s into basketball, we watch every night. I mean every game. She watches everything,” Kobe told former NBA players Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson on Showtime Basketball’s “All the Smoke” podcast earlier this month. “When I took her to the Laker game, that’s the first Laker game I’ve been to I think since my jersey retirement. We just had so much fun because it was the first time I was seeing the game through her eyes.”
Back in January 2018, Kobe revealed that Gianna had the “best” response when fans asked the NBA pro about adding a son to their family.
“Fans will come up to me and she’ll be standing next to me,” Kobe said on Jimmy Kimmel Live! in January 2018. “And they’ll be like, ‘Hey, you gotta have a boy. You and Vanessa gotta have a boy to carry on the tradition, the legacy.’ And [Gigi] is like, ‘Oy, I got this. You don’t need a boy for that, I got this.’ I’m like, ’That’s right, you got this.’”
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