The world was still mourning the sudden death of NBA Hall of Famer Kobe Bryant when the Grammy Awards began Sunday night.
One of the world’s most celebrated basketball icons, Bryant was a passenger on a helicopter that crashed near Calabasas in Los Angeles. His 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, who was following in his footsteps as a rising basketball star herself, was one of those who died in the crash.
Singer Alicia Keys on Sunday night opened the 2020 Grammys with a moving tribute to Bryant at the Staples Centre, where the ceremony was taking place.
The Centre also serves as the home venue for Bryant’s team, the Los Angeles Lakers.
“Here we are together on music’s biggest night, celebrating the artists who do it best. To be honest, we’re all feeling crazy sadness right now. Because, earlier today, Los Angeles, America, and the whole wide world lost a hero,” Keys said in a powerful tribute.
“We’re literally standing here, heartbroken, in the house that Kobe Bryant built,” Keys said, asking the crowd to share their strength and support with the families of the deceased.
Keys was subsequently joined by Boyz II Men to perform the song “It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday”.
Watch the emotional moment below:
— The Hollywood Reporter (@THR) January 27, 2020