The 41-year-old NBA legend and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, were two of the nine people who died in a helicopter crash hours before the Sunday, January 26, broadcast. Kobe and wife Vanessa Bryant shared four daughters: Natalia, 17, Gianna, Bianka, 3, and Capri, 7 months.
In addition to the pilot, city officials confirmed that Gianna’s basketball teammate Alyssa Altobelli and her father, John Altobelli, also died in the crash.
To find out how the celebrities paid tribute to the victims of the tragic crash, keep reading or watch the video above.
Both of the athlete’s jersey numbers during his 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers, 8 and 24, had a spotlight on them at the Staples Center during the show. Rev. Run also held up the former Los Angeles Lakers star’s jersey during Aerosmith and Run D.M.C’s performance during the show. Later in the show, Lil Nas X featured Kobe’s jersey too.
Lizzo Kicks It Off
“Tonight is for you Kobe,” Lizzo declared at the top of the show before she sang a mashup of her songs “Cuz I Love You” and “Truth Hurts.”
Alicia Keys and Boyz II Men’s Tribute
The host was joined by the boy band to sing “It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday” after Lizzo’s performance.
“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 said. “Right now, Kobe and his daughter Gianna and all of those who have been tragically lost today are in our spirit, they’re in our hearts, they’re in our prayers.”
Following the first commercial break, Keys seemingly performed her pre-planned opening, an original song set to Lewis Capaldi’s “Someone You Loved,” which paid tribute to the year’s biggest artists. She gave another shoutout to Kobe, who she said “loved” music, when she returned to the piano.
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