The E! Live from the Red Carpet hosts started the show with a tribute to the Lakers star, who tragically died in a helicopter crash

By Julie Mazziotta
January 26, 2020 06:50 PM
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Kobe Bryant was bigger than basketball, and his death is reverberating across the 2020 Grammys red carpet.

E! Live from the Red Carpet hosts Ryan Seacrest and Giuliana Rancic honored Bryant at the start of the show, just hours after he and eight others tragically died in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California. Bryant was 41, and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna was also on board.

Standing on the red carpet outside the Staples Center in Los Angeles, where Bryant played for two decades as a Los Angeles Laker, the co-hosts said the news was “devastating.”

“We are starting the show on a very somber note,” Seacrest, 45, said. “We want to take a moment to say we are deeply saddened by the passing of Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna and the others aboard the helicopter which tragically crashed today … His loss will be felt even more deeply tonight at a place he considered home, this, the Staples Center.”

Credit: Mike Coppola/Getty; Leon Bennett/Getty; Frazer Harrison/Getty

Rancic, 45, gave her condolences to Bryant’s wife, Vanessa.

“My heart is so heavy today, like so many people watching this in the United States but all around the world. And as a mother, as a wife, as a human, my heart goes out to Vanessa, and their family tonight, first and foremost,” the mom to 7-year-old Duke said.

Be sure to check out PEOPLE’s full Grammy Awards coverage to get the latest news on music’s biggest night.

Seacrest said that he recently spoke to Bryant, who won an Academy Award last year for his short film Dear Basketball.

“It’s unthinkable, this is a man in a family that we’ve gotten to know over the years, we’ve seen him play here before, he was on the phone with me a few months ago talking about the love of being a father, talking about his daughters. So pridefully, and I think that so many artists here tonight will be thinking about this, and wanting to share their stories,” Seacrest said.

Several Grammy attendees have expressed their sadness at Bryant’s death, both on social media and on the red carpet, and Seacrest said he expects more tonight.

“You know he was a music lover and very close to many in the industry coming down his carpet tonight who will definitely share their thoughts,” he said.

PeopleTV’s PEOPLE Now host Jeremy Parsons, PEOPLE Senior Editor Janine Rubenstein and Entertainment Weekly Senior News Editor Gerrad Hall are co-hosting a live red carpet pre-show ahead of the awards ceremony. Catch the full livestream above at 6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT or on PEOPLE’s Facebook and Twitter pages. You can also watch on the PeopleTV app, available on all of your favorite streaming devices.

Tune in to the 62nd annual Grammy Awards at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on CBS.