The location of the ceremony, the Los Angeles Staples Center, added an extra layer of significance because as Grammy host and singer Alicia Keys stressed, it was “the house that Bryant built.”
As we reported earlier, Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna Maria Onore and seven other passengers died in a helicopter crash heading to Bryant’s Mamba Academy in Thousand Oaks. It’s reported they were attending a basketball practice.
In terms of the Grammys, the show had to go on, but there wasn’t a person in attendance in downtown Los Angeles that didn’t have Bryant and his family on their minds.
As the ceremony started, Lizzo set the tone when opening the show dedicating her performance to “Kobe.”
Soon after Lizzo’s performance, the evening’s host Alicia Keys also felt compelled to make mention of this huge loss.
“We’re all feeling crazy sadness right now. We never imagined in a million years we’d have to start the show like this,” she said.
“We’re literally standing here, heartbroken, in the house that Kobe Bryant built,” Keys said.
“Right now, Kobe and his daughter Gianna and all of those that have been tragically lost today are in our spirit, and our hearts and our prayers.”
Seconds later, she brought out Boyz II Men to sing one of their most iconic songs, “It’s So Hard To Say Goodbye.”
It was a tear-jerker.
Before the show started, the red carpet was filled with celebs who took the time to reminisce on what Kobe’s legacy meant to them, where they were when they heard the horrible news and send condolences to Kobe’s wife, Vanessa.
Take a look: