Ellen DeGeneres Breaks Down In Tears As She Pays Tribute To Kobe Bryant: ‘Life Is Short & It’s Fragile’

Ellen DeGeneres wept while taping her first show since the death of Kobe Bryant. She told viewers to shower their friends and loved ones with plenty of appreciation, because 'life is short.'

Ellen DeGeneres and Kobe Bryant
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Ellen DeGeneres used the opening of her Tuesday, Jan. 28th’s daytime talk show to remember Kobe Bryant and discuss the fragility of life. She told her audience, “Thank you for being here today. I appreciate it today more than ever, more than I did yesterday, and tomorrow, tomorrow I will appreciate it more than today because life is short. I’ve mentioned before that we tape the show in advance and we taped yesterday’s show last week,” Ellen, 62, said before pausing to deeply exhale. “Today is Monday. Yesterday was Sunday and it happened to be my birthday and the Grammy Awards. I was nominated. I didn’t win. Not the point,” Ellen joked, though her eyes were already welling up with tears.

She continued, “Yesterday was a celebratory day and we got tragic news about Kobe Bryant and everything changed in a second. That’s what I want to talk about. Life is short and it’s fragile. And we don’t know how many birthdays we have. We don’t have to have a birthday to celebrate, just celebrate life. And if you haven’t told someone you love them, do it now. Tell people you love them. Call your friends. Text your friends. Hug them. Kiss them. Be nice to people at the DMV. They’re people!” Ellen explained while in tears

She then thanked her audience. “I love each and every one of you…And I know that I’m lucky to have a wife who loves me so much, even though I don’t have a Grammy,” she said, trying to inject a little humor to her monologue. Ellen then went on to say how lucky she is that she works with such wonderful people and how much she loves her staff. Then she looked to her DJ tWitch and told him how much she loved him, and he returned the same words.

“I was backstage before the show started and I was saying to tWitch, because we’ve both been sad today, ‘We’re gonna go out there and fill the room with love because that’s what everyone needs.’ Then I come out here and fall apart,” she told the audience, smiling through wet eyes.

Kobe, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna “Gigi,” and seven others were killed on Jan. 26 when their helicopter crashed into a hillside in Calabasas in foggy weather. They were on their way from their Newport Beach home in Orange County to his Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks, CA for Gigi’s basketball tournament, when the tragedy occurred around 10am local time. Kobe left behind his wife of nearly 20 years Vanessa, 37, and their three other daughters, Natalia, 17, Bianka, 3, and seven-month-old baby Capri.

Kobe last appeared on Ellen’s show on Apr. 26, 2019 when Vanessa was less than two months away from giving birth to Capri, now seven-months-old. When Ellen asked if he was hoping for a son, Kobe said he was thrilled to be having another little girl. “I’m super excited. I love my princesses. Vanessa was kind of like putting the pressure on me to have a boy,” he explained, as the male’s sperm determines the sex of the child. “She said, ‘You can do it. You can do it,’ and then, ‘Nah, you can’t do it,'” he laughed with his big smile.

Kobe said that his wife told him “we’re done” with having any more kids after Capri’s arrival. But Kobe said he really wanted one more child. “I would go for a solid starting five. You just have your own internal basketball team,” he told Ellen.

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