2020 Grammy Awards
Photo: Robyn Beck / Getty

Gathering in the very stadium where he built his legendary basketball career, stars came together for the 62nd Grammy Awards just hours after news broke that NBA star Kobe Bryant died in a tragic helicopter accident. He was among several passengers who died in the crash, including his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna “Gigi” Bryant.

His presence loomed over Grammy attendees as they celebrated music’s biggest night in the Staples Center, the home stadium of the Los Angeles Lakers. Read through to see how his legacy was honoured during the 2020 Grammys, whether on-stage or through social media.

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“Tonight is for Kobe,” Lizzo said at the beginning of her opening performance before launching into her hit song “Cuz I Love You.”

Earlier in the night, CBS’s Keltie Knight noted that the Grammy nominee would not be taking any interviews on the red carpet due to Bryant’s passing. Lizzo also posted a picture of the athlete on her Instagram before the awards ceremony.

Alicia Keys

Host Alicia Keys gave a touching tribute to Bryant at the start of the ceremony.

“To be honest with you, we’re all feeling crazy sadness right now, because earlier today, Los Angeles, America, and the whole wide world lost a hero,” she said. “And we’re literally standing here heartbroken in the house that Kobe Bryant built. Right now, Kobe and his daughter Gianna and all of those that have been tragically lost today are in our spirits. They’re in our hearts. They’re in our prayers. They’re in this building. I would like to ask everybody to take a moment and just hold them inside of you and share our strength and our support with their families. We never imagined in a million years we’d have to start the show like this. Never, never, never. So we wanted to do something to describe a tiny bit how we all feel right now.”

Boys II Men joined Keys on the stage to perform an a cappella rendition of “It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye.”

“We love you Kobe,” Keys said.

Lil Nas X

During his performance of his Grammy-nominated song, “Old Town Road,” Lil Nas X paid his respects to the NBA player by prominently displaying his jersey in the background of the stage’s set.

Earlier in the day, he also posted a photo of Bryant to his Twitter, simply captioning it with, “:(“

Aerosmith and Run DMC

In the middle of a joint performance by Aerosmith and Run DMC, the musicians also held up Bryant’s Lakers jersey.

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Nipsey Hussle Tribute

Artists like John Legend, DJ Khaled, Meek Mill, and more came together in a special tribute performance to honor the life and legacy of Nipsey Hussle, the late Los Angeles rapper who, earlier in the evening, posthumously won his first Grammy for Best Rap Performance of the year. At the end of the emotional musical tribute, a picture of Hussle and Bryant were displayed on the screens.

“Long live Nip,” DJ Khaled said. “Long live Kobe. The marathon continues.”

Jonas Brothers

The Jonas Brothers cancelled all interviews on the Grammys red carpet out of respect for Bryant. They also wore purple ribbons, a nod to one of the main colours of the Lakers uniform.


Kevin also posted a tribute to Bryant on his Instagram.

Priyanka Chopra

Chopra posted a tribute to both Bryant and Gianna on her Instagram. “Kobe Bryant was my first real introduction to the NBA,” she wrote. “I was 13 living in Queens NYC, the same age as his sweet little girl, Gianna. He ignited my love for the sport, competition, and striving for excellence. He inspired an entire generation. His legacy is so much bigger than basketball.”

She also scrawled “24,” Bryant’s jersey number, onto her nail for the show.

DJ Khaled

Khaled walked the red carpet with a T-shirt emblazoned with the iconic Lakers player.

DJ Khaled at 2020 Grammy Awards
Photo: Lester Cohen / Getty

This article originally appeared on Harper’s BAZAAR UK.

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