Beyoncé Performs Powerful Musical Tribute to Kobe Bryant at Celebration of Life
"I’m here because I love Kobe and this was one of his favorite songs," Beyoncé said
Beyoncé took the stage to kick off the event, wearing a yellow suit in honor of the Lakers’ color and backed by a choir clad in white suits.
The singer started to perform her hit “XO,” before stopping to tell the crowd, “I’m here because I love Kobe and this was one of his favorite songs.”
She then explained she was going to restart the song from the beginning, and asked the crowd to sing along.
After concluding the track, Beyoncé, 38, launched into “Halo.”
The singer previously honored Kobe on Instagram, writing simply, “You are deeply missed beloved Kobe.”
The entire event was organized after Kobe’s death in a Jan. 26 helicopter crash alongside his daughter Gianna, 13, and seven other people.
And at the Lakers’ first home game after Kobe’s death, Wiz Khalia and Charlie Puth did a performance of their emotional 2015 track “See You Again,” which was initially featured in the soundtrack for Furious 7as a tribute to the late actor Paul Walker.
Monday’s event was organized, in part, by Kobe’s longtime NBA team, the Los Angeles Lakers.
The date holds special significance for the Bryant family: Gianna wore jersey No. 2 at the Mamba Sports Academy, and Kobe wore No. 24 in the latter half of his career.
20 — as in the year 2020 — marks his time as a Laker and the length of his relationship with his wife Vanessa Bryant, with whom he shares 4 children, including Gianna.