Bryant was killed while traveling by private helicopter over Calabasas, a city located 30 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles. His 13-year-old daughter, Gianna Maria Onore, also was on board and died in the crash, as did seven other passengers.
He is survived by his wife, Vanessa Bryant, and daughters Natalia, Bianca and Capri.
This year’s Grammys were held at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, the same venue where Bryant played as a member of the Lakers for two decades.
Just before she began her ceremony-opening medley, Lizzo shouted, “Tonight is for Kobe!” A few minutes later, host Alicia Keys solemnly took the stage. “Here we are, together on music’s biggest night, celebrating the artists that do it best. But 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. And we’re literally standing here, heartbroken, in the house that Kobe Bryant built.”
After noting, “We never imagined in a million years we’d have to start the show like this,” Keys and Boyz II Men sang an a capella verse from “It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday” while Bryant’s two retired jerseys were lit in the arena’s rafters.
Watch the Bryant tribute in full above, then hit the comments below with your thoughts on the solemn moment.