On January 26th, 2020 around 1:30pm CST, millions of people received the notification that Kobe Bryant died in Calabasas due to a helicopter crash. Hours later, it was confirmed that Kobe’s daughter 13-year old daughter, Gianna, and seven other passengers died in the crash as well. The other passengers included several of Gianna’s teammates, their parents, a coach, and the pilot of the helicopter. The news shocked everyone, and many of Kobe’s Hollywood friends, acquaintances and admirers found out the news while preparing for the 62nd Grammys, which was scheduled to take place that same evening in Staples Center. Kobe played for the Los Angeles Lakers for 20-seasons in the Staples Center stadium, and it was known as his second home.
As the stars arrived on the Grammy’s red carpet, many of the red carpet correspondents asked the celebrities about their personal relationships with Kobe and how they responded/felt when they learned of the news. Of course, many people were heartbroken, especially since his 13-year old daughter and several other children were on the helicopter, but they are hoping that his legacy will continue and inspire generations to come. Ty Dolla $ign, a popular hip-hop and r&b artist, is from Los Angeles, and he mentioned that the whole city is hurting! Kobe was an LA icon, and it’s going to be hard going into the place where he perfected his craft. When the show started, one of 2019’s breakout stars and the opener for the Grammys, Lizzo, proudly proclaimed “Tonight is for Kobe!” Alicia Keys, the host for the 62nd Grammy Awards, did a tribute for Bryant at the beginning of the show, and invited Boyz II Men to join her in song. She said, “I love how much he loved music. So we gotta make this a celebration in his honor! You know? He would want us to keep the vibrations hot!” As the night went on, many other stars did their own form of tributes toward Kobe. When Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus performed “Old Town Road”, they saved a spot for Kobe Bryant Lakers jersey on a chair on set. Nas yelled “Kobe, we love you” during his performance, and DJ Khaled yelled “Rest in Peace” directly for Kobe Bryant, Gianna and Nipsey Hussle, who died in the second half of 2019.
A lot of celebrities said that their priorities shifted after hearing the news, and felt encouraged to call the people that they care about and let them know that they love them.
To see clips of the Kobe Bryant Tributes from the 2020 Grammy Awards, click this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wf3jLio7QRs