Beyoncé Sweetly Comforts Vanessa Bryant During Celebration of Life for Kobe Bryant
The “Halo” singer, who performed two of her hits to kick off the memorial, was captured on camera comforting Vanessa after she was overcome with emotion in the Staples Center.
A tearful Vanessa, 37, was seen closing her eyes and putting her head down, but was quickly consoled by Beyoncé, who put her hand on the mother of four’s right shoulder.
The duo also held hands during the tribute, as Beyoncé, 38, continued to comfort Vanessa until she could collect herself again.
Earlier at the memorial, Beyoncé opened with a stirring musical tribute to Kobe, wearing a yellow suit in honor of the Lakers’ color and backed by a choir clad in white suits.
Shortly after, Vanessa, who was joined by her girls — Natalia, 17, Bianka, 3, and 8-month-old Capri — bravely took the stage to eulogize her late husband and daughter.
Vanessa started her speech by honoring her “baby girl” Gianna, who was 13 when she was killed in the helicopter crash alongside her father last month.
“Gianna Bryant is an amazingly sweet and gentle soul. She was always thoughtful,” she said. “She was daddy’s girl but I know she loved her mamma. She was one of my very best friends.”
Vanessa noted that her daughter “loved family traditions” and “looked out for everyone” and went on to express her heartbreak over many of the big events in her life that she would miss down the road.
“We will not be able to see Gianna go to high school with Natalia … we didn’t get the chance to teach her how to drive a car,” said Vanessa. “I won’t be able to tell her how gorgeous she looks on her wedding day. I’ll never get to see my baby girl walk down the aisle, have a father-daughter dance with her daddy … or have babies of her own.”
The mother of four then transitioned to words of remembrance about her husband, 41.
“He was the most amazing husband. Kobe loved me more than I could ever express or put into words,” the grieving wife said. “I have no idea how I deserved a man who loved or wanted me more than Kobe.”
“We loved each other with our whole beings, two perfectly imperfect people making a beautiful family and raising our sweet and amazing girls,” she said of her longtime husband, whom she married in 2001.
Concluding her emotional speech, Vanessa said of her husband and daughter, “They were so easy to love. Everyone naturally gravitated toward them. They were funny, happy, silly and they loved life. They were so full of joy and adventure.”
“God knew they couldn’t be on this earth without each other. He had to bring them home to heaven together,” said Vanessa, before telling her late husband, “Babe, you take care of our Gigi. … We’re still the best team.”
The memorial, of which the date honors Gianna’s No. 2 jersey at the Mamba Sports Academy, and Kobe’s No. 24 in the latter half of Lakers career, also honored victims John Altobelli, Keri Altobelli, Alyssa Altobelli, Sarah Chester, Payton Chester, Christina Mauser and pilot Ara Zobayan.