Not a single eye was left dry from the 20,000 people that filled up the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Monday (Feb. 24) where family, fans, friends and supporters gathered to mourn the loss of Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, who were among the nine that lost their lives in a fatal helicopter crash.
The audience let their tears fall freely throughout the memorial service as many of Kobe’s close friends took the podium to speak about Kobe’s character. Beyoncé kicked off “A Celebration of Life: Remembering Kobe and Gianna Bryant” with a powerful performance of “XO” and “Halo,” followed by Jimmy Kimmel, who tearfully spoke to the number of hearts that are still healing from the loss of Gigi and Kobe. Vanessa Bryant later took the stage herself where she delivered an emotional speech in remembrance of the love, laughter, and cherished memories that she shared with her husband and daughter.
Rob Pelinka, Lakers executive and a close friend of Bryant, came to the podium next where he shared some examples of Kobe’s exemplary work ethic and selfless nature. Pelinka revealed that the last text Kobe sent him was to ask him for his help for a child that was looking for an internship, noting that Kobe was selfless down to his last act.
While Pelinka’s words sunk in, Alicia Keys took the stage next where the New York-bred songstress performed Kobe and Gigi’s favorite music piece on piano, Beethoven's “Moonlight Sonata.” The minutes-long performance was a beautiful nod to the legacy of the late father and daughter and presented a moment of silent reflection among the crowd.
See a snippet of Alicia Keys’ performance and how much viewers appreciated the performance below:
(Photo: FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images)