Alicia Keys opens Grammys with powerful musical tribute to Kobe Bryant - MEDIUM POSTS | Read The World Today

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Sunday, January 26, 2020

Alicia Keys opens Grammys with powerful musical tribute to Kobe Bryant

Singer-songwriter Alicia Keys and Boyz II Men sing in memory of late NBA legend Kobe Bryant during the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards on January 26, 2020, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Robyn Beck / AFP) (Photo by ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images).

Grammys host Alicia Keys -- with some help from Boys II Men -- kicked off Sunday's ceremony at the Staples Center with a musical tribute to Kobe Bryant.

"We're all feeling crazy sadness right now," Keys said. "Earlier today, Los Angeles, America and the whole wide world lost a hero. We're literally standing here heartbroken in the house that Kobe Bryant built."
Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna Maria Onore Bryant, and seven others were killed in a helicopter crash on Sunday.
After saying a few words, Keys began singing a line from the Boys II Men song "It's So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday." Moments later, she was joined by the band itself.
The lyrics to the song include, "It's hard to say goodbye to yesterday/ And I'll take with me the memories/ To be my sunshine after the rain."
The song, Keys said, was performed because "we wanted to do something that could describe a tiny bit how we all feel right now."
"We love you Kobe," she added.
Prior to Keys's welcome to the audience, singer Lizzo began her performance saying, "Tonight is for Kobe."

Kobe Bryant left his mark on Hollywood, too

In 2011, Kobe Bryant became the first professional athlete who was not an actor to have his hand and footprints enshrined at Hollywood's historic Grauman's Chinese Theatre.

Crowds and attendees cheered during the ceremony for the beloved NBA superstar and Olympic athlete.
After being introduced by late-night host and master of ceremony Jimmy Kimmel, Bryant spoke about the honor being paid him, which he said he never imagined in his "wildest dreams."
"I just feel extremely honored to be able to do this," Bryant said. "It's never something I ever actually thought about."

The court is where he became a legend, but Bryant -- who at the age of 41 was one of nine people killed in a helicopter crash Sunday on a hillside in Calabasas, California -- also left his mark on Hollywood.

In 2018, he notched another first after he became the only athlete to ever win a basketball championship and an Academy Award.

Bryant, who retired from playing professional basketball in 2016, won an Oscar for best animated short for "Dear Basketball," which was based on a poem he wrote.

He worked with animator Glen Keane and Oscar-winning composer John Williams on the project, which was about him as a young boy dreaming about becoming a basketball player.
"It was pretty surreal to see myself animated," Bryant told The New York Times after the short was nominated. "I once dreamed of having a signature Nike shoe, but I never thought I'd be animated by Glen Keane -- that pretty much tops everything!"

Bryant also had a brief flirtation with a music career, including a planned 2000 debut rap album which was never released.
His single, "K.O.B.E." featured model and actress Tyra Banks.

On Sunday, rapper Drake was one of several celebrities paying tribute to Bryant.

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