Here’s How The Grammys Paid Tribute To Kobe Bryant’s Life

On Sunday, NBA Lakers MVP Kobe Bryant died in a helicopter crash in the hills of Calabasas, CA, along with seven others, including his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, according to the L.A. Times. Bryant was 41-years-old. The Staples Center, where Bryant played with the Lakers, was closed that day for the Grammys, so fans and other mourners gathered outside to pay tribute to their memories of Bryant. Inside, musicians were also paying tribute, with Lizzo shouting, “This one’s for Kobe,” before beginning the opening performance.

Alicia Keys gave a heartfelt speech about the fact that no one getting ready for the Grammys that morning was anticipating starting the ceremony on such a tragic note. She also noted the Staple Center was the “house that Kobe built.”

Then she was joined by the actual band, Boyz II Men. In an unexpected performance, Keys began to sing Boyz II Men’s hit song, “It’s So Hard To Say Goodbye To Yesterday.”

“We will make sure that we are celebrating the one thing that brings all of us together,” said Keys. “And that’s music. It’s the most healing thing in the world.”

The cameras panned across the audience, showing faces touched by emotion, thinking about the loss. And on Twitter, people were thankful for the moment of gravitas:

Other artists paid tribute to Bryant as well, including Run DMC…

…and Lil Nas X.

A tough night to celebrate music, but a good reminder that grief expressed together can become transcendent.