Kanye West burst into tears while paying tribute to his friend, Kobe Bryant, during Sunday Service. Friends, family, and admirers gathered to honor Kobe at the service just hours after his death.
Kanye West, 42, gathered friends and family on January 26 for a special Sunday Service to honor Kobe Bryant, just hours after the 41-year-old NBA legend and his teenage daughter died in a helicopter crash. Along with Chance the Rapper and Kirk Franklin, Kanye eulogized his fallen friend with emotional speeches, songs, and moments of prayer. At one point, Kanye broke down into tears while trying to sing. “If Kobe was here… he here tonight. He here tonight,” Kanye struggles to sing, his head bowed, in a video from the service taken by Charlie Puth. “I was driving home / They was leaving your jersey on the freeway / And I just broke down, broke down, broke down,” Kanye freestyled, while Chance rapped a few verses from “Ultralight Beam”. You can watch Kanye’s tributes below.
Kobe and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna Bryant, were on their way to her basketball practice on January 26, when their helicopter crashed in Calabasas, California. Seven other people in the helicopter also died: Gianna’s teammates, Alyssa Altobelli and Payton Chester, Alyssa’s parents, John Altobelli and Keri Altobelli, Payton’s mom, Sarah Chester, Gianna’s basketball coach, Christina Mauser, and helicopter pilot Ara Zobayan. The horrifying crash has rocked Los Angeles to its core, with an innumerable number of Kobe’s friends paying tribute to him online, and sending love and support to his wife of 18 years, Vanessa Bryant, and his three other daughters.
Kanye and Kobe’s friendship goes back years. The two starred in a hilarious Nike commercial together in 2012, in which Kobe tries to tell a confused Kanye how to achieve greatness. Kanye also name checked him on his verse in ScHoolboy Q‘s “THat Part”, in 2016: “Walkin’, livim’ legend, man I feel like Kobe.”
Short clip of a Kobe tribute at Kanye's Midnight Sunday Service 😔💜 pic.twitter.com/3RlRj9oQnS
— V-ROB (@vrob330) January 27, 2020
Kim Kardashian also paid tribute to the victims of the crash and their families before Sunday Service began. “My heart is so heavy. No one should ever experience what the families involved are going through,” Kim posted on Twitter This has affected us all so much but I cannot begin to imagine what Vanessa is feeling losing her husband and her baby girl. I cry just thinking about it.”