It’s an emotional Monday for Lakers fans. Beyoncé’s performance at Kobe Bryant’s tribute on Monday, February 24, made the internet cry. The “Formation” singer, 38, opened the Staples Center memorial, titled “A Celebration of Life: Kobe & Gianna Bryant,” with a surprise performance of “XO” and “Halo.”
Beyoncé, dressed in a gold suit, started the performance with slowed-down version of “XO” with a full choir behind her. “I’m here because I love Kobe, and this was one of his favorite songs,” she said. After “XO,” she went into an emotional rendition of “Halo” before ending the performance by blowing kisses to Kobe and Gigi’s in heaven. The performance earned an applause from the audience, which included Kobe’s wife, Vanessa Bryant. But Bey’s performance wasn’t her only tribute. The “Crazy in Love” singer also decorated her nails to spell out Kobe and Gigi’s names. Her gold suit and purple ring were also nods to Kobe’s NBA team, the Los Angeles Lakers.
Kobe died at the age of 41 on January 26 after his helicopter crashed into a mountain in Calabasas, California, and caught on fire. All nine people on board, including Kobe’s 13-year-old daughter Gigi, were killed by the accident. Along with Kobe and Gigi, the also victims included the pilot Ara Zobayan, college baseball coachJohn Alto belli, his daughter, Alyssa, and his wife, Keri; girls’ basketball coach Christina Mauser; mom Sarah Chester and her 13-year-old daughter Payton.
Since Kobe’s death, many celebrities have paid tribute to the late LA Lakers player both on and off the stage. At the 62nd annual Grammy Awards, which were held on the same day as Kobe’s helicopter crash, Lizzo dedicated her performance to Kobe. Artists like Alicia Keys and Boyz II Men also sang tributes to the late NBA star. At the Super Bowl LIV in February, halftime show performers Jennifer Lopez and Shakira paid tribute to Kobe by changing the colors of the stadium to gold and purple as J-Lo and her daughter, Emme, sang “Let’s Get Loud.”
Rest in peace, Kobe and Gigi.