Singer Alicia Keys, host of the Grammy Awards on Sunday night, took a moment as the ceremony got underway to reflect on the deaths of Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna, who died in a helicopter crash Sunday.
“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,” Keys said.
“Because earlier today, Los Angeles, America and the whole wide world lost a hero,” Keys continued after show-opener Lizzo performed in the Staples Center in Los Angeles, where Bryant played for much of his career. “And we’re literally standing here heartbroken in the house that Kobe Bryant built.
“Right now, Kobe and his daughter, Gianna, and all of those that have been tragically lost today are in our spirit, they’re in hearts, they’re in our prayers, they’re in this building” she continued.
Keys asked “everyone to take a moment and just hold them inside of you.”
She was then joined on stage by Boyz II Men for a performance of the R&B group’s song, “It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday.”
Afterward, Keys said: “I love you, Kobe.”
Bryant, 41, and Gianna, 13, were killed Sunday morning in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California. Authorities said they believe nine people died in the crash.
Fans gathered outside Staples Center after hearing of Bryant’s death.
At the start of the show, Lizzo declared: “Tonight is for Kobe,” before she performed a medley of “Cuz I Love You” and “Truth Hurts.”
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