Rihanna posted a throwback photo of Kobe holding his daughter Gianna, who is holding onto her dad’s face. The singer wrote, “still doesn’t feel real…still can’t find the right words. We miss you man! ??? May God have mercy on the Bryant family and the families of all the souls we lost!”
The heartfelt tribute comes after a tragic helicopter crash that killed Kobe, his daughter Gianna and seven others. The group was headed from Orange County to Kobe’s youth basketball academy in Los Angeles.
The pilot, Ara Zobayan, was a favorite of Kobe’s and the NBA star reportedly would only fly with him. Sources told People, Kobe and Vanessa “had a deal that they would never fly on a helicopter together.”
The investigation into the cause of the crash has been launched. It is believed the pilot was driving in foggy conditions and crashed into a hill. Officials were able to recover three bodies but are still searching for the remaining passengers.
Gabrielle Union shared a heartfelt message to Kobe’s wife Vanessa Bryant. She wrote, “Yesterday watching my husband & the kids in stunned silence, just staring at them, all of us thinking about @vanessabryant & her children and the families that lost pieces of their heart in an instant yesterday.”
She continued with this message, “Please remember that as life moves on for everyone else, the grief these families are experiencing just started. Please dont forget about them. Please dont forget about all the ppl who are suffering and frozen as life around them goes on. We love you. We are praying for you, for all of us struggling with unimaginable challenges we dont speak of.”
Kobe’s former teammate, Lamar Odom, asked why his life was spared and not Kobe’s.