It’s been over 20 years since Kobe Bryant took Brandy Norwood to prom but that doesn’t mean his death is any less devastating for “The Boy Is Mine” singer. Brandy, who went to the dance with Bryant in 1996, took to Instagram on Friday and posted a photo of Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, who also died in the January 26 helicopter crash. Sending prayers to his wife, Vanessa Bryant, the singer broke her silence on his unexpected passing. “Never will I understand,” she captioned a photo of the late Lakers legend and his 13-year-old daughter. “My condolences to @vanessabryant, and all families who are in pain during this tragic time,” she added.
Brandy first connected with Kobe Bryant at the Essence Awards in 1996. At the time, he was a rising star as a high school senior basketball player and she was already a famous artist and actress of “Moesha.” After their date, the two and their family spoke out about their prom night. “He came home … and said, ‘I met such a nice, beautiful, intelligent, sweet person,’” Kobe Byrant’s mom, Pam Bryant, told the Philadelphia Daily News. Brandy was equally as interested to go to prom with him and talked about their time together to the Daily News. “He asked me to go to the prom with him, and since he was a nice guy … I asked my mom, and she said yes,” she said at the time.
Because of the press their prom date got, Kobe Bryant’s Lower Merion High School in Philadelphia had to hire extra security for safety purposes. While Kobe Byrant and Brandy always denied they dated, he later appeared in an episode of “Moesha.” He played a basketball player who got help on his SATs from Brandy’s character. Just three years later, Kobe Bryant met his wife of nearly 20 years. The Lakers star married Vanessa Bryant in 2001. On Wednesday, she shared an emotional message paying tribute to her late husband and middle child.
“I’m not sure what our lives hold beyond today, and it’s impossible to imagine life without them. But we wake up each day, trying to keep pushing because Kobe, and our baby girl, Gigi, are shining on us to light the way,” she said. “My girls and I want to thank the millions of people who’ve shown support and love during this horrific time. Thank you for all the prayers. We definitely need them,” she continued. Stating, “There aren’t enough words to describe our pain right now,” Vanessa Bryant added, “We were so incredibly blessed to have them in our lives. I wish they were here with us forever.”