The world continues to celebrate the life and legacy of Kobe Bryant following the horrific fatal helicopter crash that claimed the lives of the NBA legend, his daughter Gianna Maria-Onore Bryant and the seven other passengers. In a testament to his impact, Bryant’s longtime supporters, close friends, and colleagues are sharing beautiful tributes as they try to navigate their grief from the tragic turn of events.
Kanye West is the latest to lend his voice to the growing number of Hollywood celebrities that have taken to social media to remember their departed friend. According to Billboard, West, a longtime fan of Bryant, held a special midnight edition of his weekly Sunday Service on Monday (Jan. 28) in commemoration of the NBA great.
Clips of the impromptu gathering have begun spread around social media. A five-minute long clip of the gathering also made its way to YouTube. For the occasion, ‘Ye was joined by renowned gospel singer Kirk Franklin and fellow Chicago rapper Chance The Rapper, backed up by Kanye’s gospel choir, where they lifted their voices to eulogize Bryant and pay their respects to his memory. In one of the clips, Kanye took the center stage where he encircled by his choir as he honored the late sports icon with a freestyle, singing: “I was driving home / They was leaving your jersey on the freeway, and I just broke down, broke down, broke down.”
Chance later took the stage and performed a stripped down version of West’s “Ultralight Beam” from The Life of Pablo, singing “When they come for you, I will shield your name / I will field their questions, I will feel your pain / No one can judge.”
At some point, Franklin delivered some uplifting words in the form of spoken word to the gathered crowd before he led to choir through some traditional gospel songs.
Prior to the service, Kanye paid his respects to Bryant in a post on Twitter.
“Kobe, We love you brother,” he penned. “We’re praying for your family and appreciate the life you’ve lived and all the inspiration you gave.”
BET continues to send its love, light and prayers to the Bryant family as well as the families of Christina Mauser, Sarah and Payton Chester, Ara Zobayan, and the Altobelli family during this difficult time.