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Kanye West Hosts Midnight 'Sunday Service' in Memory of Kobe Bryant

Gettyimages | KMazur
By Alyssa McCraw

Kanye West held a special midnight edition of his Sunday Service in remembrance of the late Kobe Bryant. The basketball legend's helicopter was headed to his Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks, California when it fatally crashed, killing all nine people aboard the aircraft.

West's service was attended by his wife, Kim Kardashian-West, and his mother-in-law, Kris Jenner. Despite the tragedy, the gospel-themed event stuck to its usual high energy presentation. The service was held at Milk Studios in Los Angeles.

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Gettyimages | Noel Vasquez

Mazdack Rassi, Co-Founder and Creative Director of Milk Studios, shared a clip of the service on his Instagram page.

"We build Temples," he began. "It’s not a studio or a makeup line. It’s not space or a place to work. It’s always been about a community of people who create change. Tonight we got together to sing, create love and remember those we lost."

West was also joined onstage by Kirk Franklin and Chance the Rapper. Franklin, a gospel singer, had just performed a charismatic tribute to the late rapper Nipsey Hussle hours earlier during Sunday night's GRAMMY Awards. His performance on the telecast also included a tribute to Bryant when a photo of the rapper was juxtaposed with one of Kobe during the song's final notes.

Gettyimages | KMazur

During his address to the congregation, Franklin asks, "why do bad things happen to good people?" The somber moment was caught on video by Kim Kardashian-West in a series of videos from last night's vigil. "I needed to hear this," she captioned the first clip. The reality star/beauty mogul was one of the first to post her deepest sympathies after initial announcements of the tragedy surfaced.

"My heart is so heavy. No one should ever experience what the families involved are going through," she began. Kardashian, a mother of four children, says she was hurting the most on behalf of Bryant's wife.

"This has affected us all so much but I cannot begin to imagine what Vanessa is feeling losing her husband and her baby girl. I cry just thinking about it. I am praying for the Bryant family, the Altobelli family and the families of all who perished in this unthinkable tragedy."

Leading up to his last-minute gathering, West posted his own tribute via Twitter.

"Kobe, we love you brother. We're praying for your family and appreciate the life you've lived and all the inspiration you gave." The tweet was attached to a photo of Kobe with Kanye in a recording studio.

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