Rihanna joined the many celebrities mourning the loss of basketball legend Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, taking to her Instagram to share that she ‘still can’t find the right words.’
Two days after Kobe Bryant‘s untimely death at the age of 41 on Jan. 26, more celebrities are lending their platforms to remember the basketball legend. In the late hours of Jan. 27, Rihanna took to her Instagram account to share a loving photo of Kobe with his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, whose life was also claimed in the deadly helicopter crash. In the image, a toddler Gianna put her hands on either side of her father’s face following an LA Lakers game, wearing a purple headband and bright yellow top. Kobe looked so lovingly at his daughter as they shared the intimate moment together during what was likely a boisterous celebration.
Rihanna’s solemn words were a grave contrast to the endearing photo. “still doesn’t feel real,” the Grammy winner began the caption to her post. “still can’t find the right words. We miss you man,” she continued, adding a pair of praying hands and a heartbroken emoji. “May God have mercy on the Bryant family and the families of all the souls we lost,” she concluded her message.
The “Needed Me” singer’s own tribute comes as legions of fans, celebrities, and athletes alike continue to mourn the loss of Kobe, Gianna, and the seven other civilians who were tragically killed. On the same day Rihanna shared her message, Kobe’s longtime friend of over 20 years, Justin Timberlake, posted his eulogy to Instagram, as well. The recording artist and actor’s lengthy message chronicled their close bond as young men all the way to their time as fathers. “THAT father connection is what is most devastating for me,” he shared, before adding, “I am sending my love to Vanessa [Bryant, 37] and your family and to the families of everyone connected in the mourning of this terrible tragedy. My heart is broken and my family lifts you up in our thoughts and prayers.” Before closing out his statement, Justin shared, “Your legacy is with us. It’s our responsibility to pass it down now.”
Since the tragic incident that claimed the lives of the nine victims onboard the helicopter, admirers and friends from Jennifer Lopez to Jack Nicholson have parsed out their somber words and their support to the Bryant family. Even the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards, held at Kobe’s second home, the Staples Center, endured the heartbreak of the loss with tributes coming from performances and speeches alike. In the wake of the tragedy, Kobe and Gianna leave behind wife and mother Vanessa and daughters and sisters Natalia, 17, Bianka, 3, and Capri, 7 months.