It was the news that rocked a city, a nation and the globe following the death of Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna. Today, in front of thousands at the Staple Centre – the home of the Lakers – and millions live streaming the ceremony, Beyoncé took to the stage to pay tribute to the athlete and family man with a performance of ‘XO’ and ‘Halo’. Wearing a gold pant suit and surrounded by purple lighting, she led an orchestra and choir in a tearful performance.
“I’m here because I love Kobe, and this is one of his favorite songs,” she said before launching into a special rendition of “XO.”
“I want to start that over,” Beyonce continued. “But I want us to do it all together, and I want you to sing it so loud that he hears your love.”
The ceremony was aptly titled ‘A Celebration of Life’, and included another performance of Beethoven’s ‘Moonlight Sonata’, by Alicia Keys as well as heartfelt, emotional speeches from the likes of Jimmy Kimmel, the master of ceremonies for the evening, as well as Michael Jordan and wife, Vanessa Bryant.
Braynt and his daughter along with seven other people were killed in a deadly helicopter crash over Calabasas in California on January 26.
Bryant was drafted to the NBA straight from high school in 1996 where he was named an All-Star in 18 out of 20 seasons for the Lakers and was best known for leading the team to five national championships. During the 2007 season, he was named as the NBA MVP and the final’s MVP in 2009 and 2010. His resumé also includes an 81-point game in 2006 that is the second-highest single-game total in the association’s history while he attended the Olympics in 2008 and 2012.