Beyonce opened up the Kobe and Gianna Bryant celebration of life on Monday with a moving performance of “Halo” and “XO.” The songs brought Bryant’s wife, Vanessa, to tears as she sat by the stage.
After the ceremony, it was reported by Page Six that Beyonce’s team requested to both the AP and Getty that no photos be taken of her.
“This doesn’t help Beyonce’s image at all, it hurts her. It makes her look like a diva,” an angry insider told the outlet. “The memorial wasn’t about her. The only shots of Bey that did emerge were screen grabs from TV.”
Well, now it seems the memorial not being about her is exactly why Beyonce made the no photos request.
“Beyonce asked that no pictures of her were taken at Kobe’s memorial. She didn’t want to take the attention away from Vanessa [Bryant] and the family,” a source told Hollywood Reporter. “She only performed because she loved Kobe and wanted to do something special for Vanessa.”
Following Beyonce’s powerful performance, Jimmy Kimmel made some emotional opening remarks about Kobe and Gianna.
He was followed by Bryant’s wife, Vanessa, who bravely spoke about her husband and daughter, both of whom died in a helicopter crash on January 26.
“Gianna Bryant is an amazingly sweet and gentle soul,” Vanessa said. “She was always thoughtful. She always kissed me goodnight and kissed me good morning. There were a few occasions where I was absolutely tired from being up with Bianka and Capri and I thought she had left for school without saying goodbye. I text and say ‘No kiss?’ and Gianna would reply with, ‘Mama, I kissed you but you were asleep and I didn’t want to wake you.’
“She knew how much her morning and evening kisses meant to me. She was so thoughtful to remember to kiss me every day,” she continued. “She was Daddy’s girl but I know she loved her mama. She would always tell me and show me how much she loved me. She was one of my very best friends. She loved faith, she loved putting a smile on everyone’s faces.”
Vanessa also talked about Gianna’s aspirations to follow in Kobe’s footsteps and become a great pro basketball player.
“Gigi likely would have become the best player in the WNBA,” Vanessa added. “She would have made a huge difference in women’s basketball.
“I cannot imagine life without her. Mommy, Natalia, Bianka, Capri and Daddy love you so much, Gigi. I will miss your sweet handmade cards, your sweet kisses and your gorgeous smile. I miss you, all of you, every day. I love you.”
Vanessa then talked about her husband.
“I couldn’t see him as a celebrity, nor just an incredible basketball player,” she said. “He was my sweet husband and the beautiful father of our children. He was my — he was my everything.”