Like much of Hollywood, Rihanna is still reeling over the terrible, sudden death of Kobe Bryant. Almost two weeks ago, Bryant’s helicopter crashed into a Calabasas, California mountainside on the way to his Mamba Sports Academy. The aircraft was carrying Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, and seven other victims: pilot Ara Zaboyan, Christina Mauser, Sarah and Payton Chester, as well as John, Keri, and Alyssa Altobelli. All nine victims were killed instantly in the fiery crash.
Rihanna not only remembers Bryant and his daughter but everyone involved in the tragedy.
We’ll remember him in the purple and gold sunsets from the upper concourse balcony. In the M-V-P chants and the constant strive for perfection.https://t.co/2ubYTo1GYR
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) February 1, 2020
The 31-year-old Barbados native spoke to Entertainment Tonight on Friday evening during the launch of the Fenty 2-20 collection at Bergdorf Goodman’s in New York City. RiRi said that she can’t even look up and see a helicopter without thinking of last month’s events. It reminds her that – like Bryant and scores of others in their overlapping industries – she spends a lot of time traveling.
“Every time I see a helicopter, it’s just like..as an entertainer, we travel so much, like, in your mind, it could have been any of us,” she remarks.
when y’all was asleep lastnight, I was out interacting with my @FentyOfficial digital windows at Bergdorf Goodman 😂! If you happen to be in NYC today do a lil drive by before it ends tonight! pic.twitter.com/MDmmWSSFxG
— Rihanna (@rihanna) February 7, 2020
“My heart breaks, my heart goes out to Vanessa Bryant and the entire Bryant family and all of the families that lost people that day. It’s a tragedy and I think it’s something that the world will never really get over.”
The day after news of Bryant’s death shocked the world, Rihanna took to Instagram to express her deepest condolences.
“Still doesn’t feel real,” her caption began. “Still can’t find the right words. We miss you man! ???” Rihanna’s heartfelt post came alongside a picture of a young Gianna squeezing Kobe’s cheeks while decked out in her own Lakers gear.
“May God have mercy on the Bryant family and the families of all the souls we lost!” This January 27th Instagram post from the singer is pushing four million likes.
She took time to recall the greatness Bryant conveyed on the court, as she was one of many lucky people who got to experience his immense talent live.
“To see him play, there’s just something that comes over him, that you just can’t even…it’s not even tangible. You can’t even understand it.”
first selfie of the year doe. #2020 pic.twitter.com/TJxarwWeXI
— Rihanna (@rihanna) January 6, 2020
And while she is, indeed, lucky to have seen him in action, it’s also making it even harder for her to grasp this new reality.
“It was beautiful to see his career. It was beautiful to see him play – and I actually got to witness him playing – but it makes it even more tragic to lose him.”
Since her major career launch in the early 2000s, every interview we’ve seen Rihanna give has been poised and authentic – and while her time with ET last night was no different, you could tell she was struggling to find the right words to honor the late basketball star. When she did muster up what to say, she said she will remember him for being “the greatest,” and plainly put, “lethal.”
You too can honor the memory of Kobe Bryant and the victims aboard his final flight by donating to the MambaOnThree Fund.
— FentyStats.com (@FentyStats) February 8, 2020