Beyonce opened Kobe and Gianna Bryant’s public memorial with a surprise performance of his favorite song, ‘XO.’ She followed with her hit, ‘Halo,’ as the emotional crowd sang along.
Beyonce was one of many who took the stage at Staples Center on February 24, to honor and celebrate the lives of Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna and the seven others who perished in a tragic helicopter crash in southern California in January. Beyonce, 38, performed “XO” and “Halo” at the public memorial and there wasn’t a dry eye on the arena. The singer admitted that she was present at the event because she loved Kobe.
“This was one of his favorite songs,” Beyonce addressed the crowd inside Kobe’s home, where he became an icon having spent his entire NBA career with the Lakers. She asked the audience to sing along with her so loudly that he and Gianna could hear from above. The Grammy-winning singer, who looked beautiful in Lakers yellow, was joined by a band, as well as a choir.
Celebrities including Kim and Khloe Kardashian, Kanye West, Kris Jenner, Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez, Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union, Jimmy Kimmel, Steph and Ayesha Curry, and many more attended Kobe and Gianna’s memorial. Jimmy Kimmel shed tears as he opened the memorial with moving speech about the late NBA legend and his talented daughter. WNBA star, Dianna Taurasi, who was close with Kobe and Gigi, gave a moving speech and noted that the late 13-year-old had a powerful impact on the league at a young age.
— CBS Evening News (@CBSEveningNews) February 24, 2020
More than 20,000 people gathered inside Staples Center — the home of Kobe Bryant’s iconic 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers. An estimated 90,000 people signed up for tickets to today’s memorial, where all of the proceeds will go to the Mamba and Mambacita Sports Foundation.
The seven others killed in the helicopter crash included: John Altobelli, the head baseball coach at Orange Coast College, his wife Keri Altobelli and their daughter Alyssa Altobelli; Christina Mauser, an assistant basketball coach at Kobe’s Mamba Sports Academy; Payton Chester, who played on the team; her mother, Sarah Chester; and Ara Zobayan, the pilot. The group was traveling to a basketball game in foggy weather when the Oscar-winner’s Sikorsky S-76 chopper fell from the sky and crashed and burned in the hills of southern California on January 26.
Kobe and Gianna were laid to rest earlier this month in a private burial in California. Our thoughts are with the Bryant family, as well as the other families impacted by this horrific tragedy.