Football fans descended upon the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami where the Kansas City Chiefs emerged victorious over the San Francisco 49ers at this year’s Super Bowl LIV.
But the leadup championship game was preceded by the unexpected death of Kobe Bryant. Tributes have continued to pour from across the globe ever since, especially from those who most intimately knew Bryant in the sports and entertainment industry.
Football’s biggest night was no different. The 2020 Super Bowl happened to fall exactly one week after the fatal helicopter crash that claimed the lives of Bryant, his daughter, Gianna Maria-Onore Bryant, and the seven other passengers aboard the ill-fated flight.
At a press conference ahead of the Super Bowl, Jennifer Lopez and Shakira, co-headliners for the halftime show, revealed that they would honor the late NBA great with a tribute during their performance.
“We'll all be remembering Kobe on Sunday and celebrating life and diversity in this country,” Shakira shared with reporters. “I'm sure he'd be very proud to see the message we are trying to convey on stage that day.”
Lopez added that they had something “heartfelt” planned to honor the sports icon. The Bronx-bred superstar recalled how she found out about the tragedy in the midst of rehearsals for their joint performance. She emotionally recalled how her fiancé, retired MLB All-Star Alex Rodriguez, came to her with tears in his eyes and told her about the devastating news.
“I think it's just affecting everybody so much because it's just reminding us how fragile life is and how we have to appreciate every single moment,” Lopez said.
As promised, the tribute for Bryant came towards the end of Sunday’s performance (Feb. 2) when Lopez was joined on stage by her 11-year-daughter, Emme. The mother and daughter were joined by a children's choir where they sang a stripped down version of “Let’s Get Loud” together. CNN further reported that a cross was lit up in purple and gold colors on the field as homage to the late Los Angeles Lakers leviathan as well.
However, it seems the subtle moment went unnoticed by those tuning in to watch from home.
“I watched the entire halftime and I must’ve missed the tribute,” one viewer commented on Twitter. Some people have been pointing out that the camera also did not catch the illuminated cross.
While the moment touched the hearts of some, others felt that the tribute fell somewhat flat. See the myriad of reactions to Jennifer Lopez’s tribute to Kobe Bryant below.
(Photo: TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Images)