The memorial service for Kobe Bryant and Gianna Bryant is currently being held today (Feb. 24) at the Staples Center. Beyoncé took the stage and gave a heartwarming performance in their remembrance.
She said, “I’m here because I love Kobe and this was one of his favorite songs.” Backed by a choir and violinists, Beyoncé opened the memorial with a performance of “XO.” She then sang “Halo.”
Beyoncé and her husband JAY-Z were close friends of The Bryants. After news of Kobe’s death surfaced, JAY opened up about the last conversation that he had with Kobe.
During a Q&A session at Columbia University on Tuesday (Feb. 4), JAY spoke about the final conversation he had with Bryant at his home on New Year’s Eve.
“So, Kobe was a guy that looked up to me, and we’ve hung out multiple times. He was last at my house on New Year’s, and he was just in the greatest space that I had [ever] seen him in,” JAY said. “One of the last things he said to me was, ‘You gotta see Gianna play basketball.’ ... He was just so proud of what he said. So, that’s really a tough one, and my wife and I are taking that really tough. That’s all I’ll say on that. [Bryant was] just a great human being, was in a great space in his life.”
JAY was one of Kobe’s favorite rappers and he knew every one of his songs, word-for-word.
“Whenever a new JAY-Z album came out, it was a big deal,” Bryant’s former teammate, Brian Shaw, told The Players’ Tribune in 2016. “Guys would get it day one and be rapping their favorite songs. Maybe they knew the first few bars or the hook. Well, Kobe would be in the back of the bus rapping every single line of every single song the day after the album came out. I’m talking every lyric. It was genuinely amazing. Nobody could figure out how it was possible.”
Take a look at Beyoncé’s performance below.