by: Anne DeLello ’20 A&E Staff
Nearly a month ago, the world was shocked and saddened by the sudden deaths of Kobe and Gianna Bryant, along with seven others in a helicopter crash. On Monday, February 24, the Staples Center in Los Angeles held a memorial for Kobe and Gianna, which featured several emotional tributes to the father-daughter duo.
The event included speeches from Bryant’s friends and NBA stars as well as the first occasion that Vanessa Bryant spoke about the deaths of her husband and daughter. In her emotional speech, Bryant concluded by saying, “God knew they couldn’t be on this earth without each other.”
Not only did the memorial allow Bryant’s loved ones and all those who supported him to pay tribute to him, but there were also several heartfelt performances at the event. A major performer was Beyoncé, a longtime friend of Bryant.
Beyoncé sang “XO” in a tune that she specifically noted as one of Bryant’s favorites. She began her performance by telling the crowd, “I’m here, because I love Kobe, and this was one of his favorite songs. So, I want to start that over, but I want us to do it all together and I want you to sing it so loud they hear your love. Are y’all ready? Love you.”
Another key performer was Alicia Keys. She played the piano for a special performance of Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata.” This song has a special meaning to Bryant and his wife Vanessa, and he had even learned how to play it on the piano at one point to surprise her.
Music is emotional and powerful, and during times like these, Beyoncé and Alicia Keys were able to use it to bring everyone watching together to celebrate the lives of Kobe and Gianna Bryant, as well as mourn the loss of these two incredible individuals.