Beyoncé took the stage as the first surprise guest at the Staples Center for Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gigi‘s celebration of life on Monday, February 24. The Grammy-winning singer brought his wife Vanessa Bryant to tears following her powerful performance. Singing two of her smash hits, Beyoncé opened up with her 2013 song, “XO,” which she stated was one of Kobe Bryant’s “favorites.” Standing on the platform in the house Kobe built, Queen Bey commanded attention in a mustard yellow suit.
Wearing her blazer and matching pants, the singer paired her look with chunky gold jewelry as she sang with a live orchestra in the background. Violinists and a choir wearing white joined Beyoncé on the stage before the singer stopped the ballad and told the sold-out crowd, “I’m here because I love Kobe and this was one of his favorite songs.” She then stated, “I’m going to start this over so we can sing it together.” After re-singing “XO,” Beyonce then moved on to perform her tear-jerking hit “Halo.”
Ending her performance by looking up at the sky as if to say goodbye to Kobe Bryant and Gigi, Beyonce was clearly emotional as was everyone in the crowd. The camera then panned to Vanessa Bryant who had tears streaming down her face. Jimmy Kimmel then came out to pay tribute to his dear friend. Breaking down and crying throughout his speech, the talk show host paused while trying to attempt to get his emotions together as the crowd chanted “Kobe” over and over again.
— GoreJust Goth (@gorejustgoth) February 24, 2020
Then it was Vanessa Bryant’s turn. She got up on the stage and showed unbelievable power as she talked about her daughter. Getting emotional while mentioning the future her teenager was robbed of, Vanessa Bryant pushed through the tears while talking about Gigi. As The Blast reported, Kobe Bryant, his daughter, and 7 others lost their lives after their helicopter crashed and burst into flames in Calabasas, CA. The coroner listed their cause of death as blunt force trauma. Hours before Kobe and Gigi’s celebration of life began, Vanessa Bryant filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the helicopter company stating the aircraft should have never been attempting to fly in such bad weather conditions, and the pilot took a risk that cost her husband and daughter their lives. At the time of the crash, the fog in the area was very low and thick. It appears the pilot lost all visibility before the fatal crash.