Beyonce gave a rousing tribute performance in honor of Kobe Bryant and Gianna Bryant at their memorial at the Staples Center.
It’s been nearly a month since the tragic death of Kobe and Gianna Bryant, but not until today were mourners able to gather at an event grand enough to honor the superstar athlete and his talented teenage daughter. The “Celebration of Life” was held at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Monday, opening with an emotional tribute performance by Beyoncé. Wearing all gold in honor of the Lakers legend, Bey opened the performance with her song “XO.”
She explained her music choice after singing the first couple lines, saying, “I’m here because I love Kobe, and this was one of his favorite songs. So, I want to start that over, but I want us to do it together, and I want you to sing it so loud they can hear your love.”
The touching rendition of “XO” was backed up by a gospel choir and orchestra dressed in all white. Beyoncé concluded her performance with a powerful performance of her hit, “Halo”, which felt exactly right for the moment with the lyrics, “Standing in the light of your halo/I got my angel now.” Beyoncé sent a kiss up to the heavens before touchingly mouthing “I love you” to Kobe’s wife, Vanessa Bryant, who was applauding the performance from her seat in the crowd.
The event was attended by more than 20,000 people, including friends, family, former teammates, and fans. There were countless famous faces in the audience to celebrate Kobe and Gianna’s lives, including Jennifer Lopez, Magic Johnson, and Michael Jordan. The helicopter crash, which took the lives of the NBA star and his daughter, also killed seven other people, including the pilot. The investigation into the cause of the crash is still pending, but Vanessa Bryant has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the company that operated the helicopter, claiming that negligence may have been involved.