Kobe Bryant memorial: Beyonce, Alicia Keys among performers at service

A public memorial to honor Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna Bryant and the seven other people who died in a helicopter crash last month is taking place at the Staples Center on Monday. Many celebrities, athletes and artists were invited to participate in the event and pay their respects to the lives lost too soon. 

Beyonce got things started in Los Angeles. Her moving performance of her hit songs “XO” and “Halo” left not a dry eye in the already emotional and reflective room. She opened the Bryant tribute with one of Bryant’s favorite songs “XO” and asked the room to join her in singing. 

Beyonce started her performance with a message for the crowd:

“I’m here, because I love Kobe and this was one of his favorite songs. So I want to start that over, but I want us to do it all together and I want you to sing it so loud they hear your love. Are y’all ready? Love you.” 

The performance transitioned into a powerful rendition of “Halo.” 

Another one of Kobe and Vanessa’s favorite musical numbers was performed by the great Alicia Keys, who sat down at the piano accompanied by a string quartet for a beautiful performance of Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata.”

Keys wore purple and played a purple piano. Kobe Bryant taught himself how to play the piece by ear on piano, as a surprise for his wife Vanessa, who also loves the song. 

The public memorial has also included words from talk show host Jimmy Kimmel, Michael Jordan, Sabrina Ionescu and an emotional speech from Vanessa Bryant. 

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