MANILA, Philippines – The Grammy Awards kicked off on Monday, January 27 (Sunday evening, January 26 in California) at the STAPLES Center in Los Angeles as with Lizzo, Alicia Keys, and Boyz II Men paying tribute to basketball legend Kobe Bryant.
Kobe, who played for the Los Angeles Lakers his entire career, died on Sunday in a helicopter crash. His daughter, 13-year-old Giana, also died. (READ: NBA plunged into mourning as Kobe Bryant dies in helicopter crash)
Lizzo, who is up for some of the top awards, opened the show with a tribute to the late basketball legend before launching into a rousing medley of her hits.
“Tonight is for Kobe,” shouted the 31-year-old, who won two awards in the pre-gala event that led into music’s marquee night.
Keys said all of them inside the stadium felt “crazy sadness right now” because of the sad news.
“Earlier today, Los Angeles, America, and the whole wide world lose a hero. We are literally standing here heartbroken in the house that Kobe Bryant built,” she said.
“Right now, Kobe, his daughter Giana, and all of those who have been tragically lose today are in our spirit, they are in our hearts, they are in our prayers, they are in this building, and I would like to ask everybody to take a moment and hold them inside of you and share our strength and our support with their families.”
Keys and Boyz II Men joined together to sing one of the group’s classic songs “So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday.”
A photo of Bryant was also flashed during the opening the tribute.
– with a report from Agence France-Presse/Rappler.com