Beyoncé, 38, took the stage at The Staples Center on Feb. 24, to honor and celebrate the lives of Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna and the seven others who died in a tragic helicopter crash last month. Organizers of the public memorial reportedly banned photographers from taking pictures of the superstar. Now, a source close to the “Irreplaceable” singer tells HollywoodLife EXCLUSIVELY that the directive came straight from Bey — and she had a very good reason for the request.
“Beyonce asked that no pictures of her were taken at Kobe’s memorial. She didn’t want to take the attention away from Vanessa [Bryant] and the family. She only performed because she loved Kobe and wanted to do something special for Vanessa.”
The entire event was live streamed so it’s not like Beyonce was incognito, and after her performance of “XO” and “Halo” she sat with her longtime friend Vanessa, 37, and did her best to comfort her during the many speeches honoring Kobe and Gianna. Beyonce’s friendship with Vanessa and Kobe dates back to the 90’s. Kobe even appeared on the remix of Destiny’s Child’s “Say My Name” and was featured in the music video for the group’s song “Bug-A-Boo.”
The NBA star and his family was equally close with her husband Jay-Z. In fact during his first Shawn “JAY-Z” Carter Lecture Series at Columbia University in New York City on Feb. 4, the rapper revealed that they all recently spent New Year’s Eve together.
“He was last in my house on New Year’s and he was just in the greatest space that I’ve seen him in,” JAY-Z recalled to the crowd. “One of the last things he said to me was, ‘You gotta see Gianna play basketball.’ And that was one of the most hurtful things because he was so proud.” The rapper also said the sudden loss of Kobe and Gianna has been “tough” for him and Beyonce.