The 2020 Grammy Awards paid tribute to Kobe Bryant throughout the course of Sunday night’s telecast.
“Music’s Biggest Night” took place at Los Angeles’ STAPLES Center, home of Bryant’s Los Angeles Lakers, just hours after his tragic passing. To honor the legendary player, his retired jerseys 8 and 24, were illuminated inside the arena.
Afterward, host Alicia Keys took the stage and commented, “We’re literally standing here heartbroken in the house that Kobe Bryant built.” She was then joined by Boyz II Men to sing “It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday”, changing the lyrics to “today.” Watch her speech and the performance below.
"We are literally standing here heartbroken in the house that Kobe Bryant built." Host @aliciakeys pays tribute to Kobe Bryant, his daughter and their family during her opening monologue at the #Grammys https://t.co/0BNpfw9wWV pic.twitter.com/9VzWZa2M8S
— The Hollywood Reporter (@THR) January 27, 2020
Later in the show, Bryant’s jersey was on display during performances by Aersomith and Run-DMC, as well as by Lil Nas X with BTS, Mason Ramsey, Billy Rae Cyrus, and Nas.
The basketball all-star died suddenly Sunday afternoon in a helicopter crash just outside of the city. He was 41 years old. TMZ reports that one of Bryant’s daughters, 13-year-old Gianna Maria Onore, was also killed in the accident.
Considered one of the greatest basketball players of all time, Bryant was a five-time NBA champion and ranks fourth on the league’s list of all-time scoring leaders. A member of the Los Angeles Lakers for the entirety of his 20-year career, he was an 18-time All-Star, 15-time member of the All-NBA Team, 12-time member of the All-Defensive team, and was the NBA’s Most Valuable Player (MVP). He retired from the NBA in 2016.
Outside of basketball, in 2018 Bryant won the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film for his film Dear Basketball.
As news of his death spread, figures across the music world, as well as former president Barack Obama and NBA legend Michael Jordan, have offered their own personal tributes to Bryant.
To stay up to date on all of the ceremony’s big moments, make sure to follow our complete Grammy Awards 2020 coverage.