Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna and the seven others who died in the helicopter crash that took their lives were remembered at an emotional two-hour memorial service this morning (Monday) at Staples Center in L.A., where so much of Kobe’s basketball magic took place.
In her first public appearance since the loss of Kobe and Gianna, Kobe’s wife Vanessa delivered an emotional 20-minute eulogy. The others speakers included former NBA greats Michael Jordan and Shaquille O’Neal, Kobe’s best friend, former agent and current Lakers general manager Rob Palinka, University of Connecticut women’s basketball coach Geno Auriemma, and Jimmy Kimmel, who also hosted the event.
Beyoncé performed two of Kobe and Gianna’s favorite songs, “Halo” and “XO.” Alicia Keys played one of Kobe’s favorite instrumental pieces, Beethoven‘s “Moonlight Sonata,” on piano. Christina Aguilera sang the prayer “Ave Maria.”
The audience was filled with NBA all-stars and coaches of both the past and present, among them Steph Curry, James Harden, Russell Westbrook, DeMar DeRozan, Dwyane Wade, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Derek Fisher, Gregg Popovich and Phil Jackson, as well as celebrities such as Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez, Kim Kardashian and Kanye West, Khloe Kardashian and Kris Jenner.