Alicia Keys and Boyz II Men open Grammys with emotional Kobe Bryant tribute

The NBA legend and his daughter died in a helicopter crash on Sunday.

The NBA legend and his daughter died in a helicopter crash on Sunday

2020 Grammys host Alicia Keys brought R&B group Boyz II Men onstage to pay tribute to NBA star Kobe Bryant. (Getty Images for The Recording Academy)

The 2020 Grammy Awards opened on a sombre note as host Alicia Keys brought out Boyz II Men to pay tribute to NBA star Kobe Bryant, who died Sunday in a helicopter crash. 

"We're all feeling crazy sadness right now," Keys told the audience at Los Angeles' Staples Center where Bryant spent 20 years playing for the L.A. Lakers. "We are all literally standing here in the house that Kobe Bryant built." 

Keys and Boyz II Men then performed the group's 1991 song, "It's So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday." Watch the moment below. 

Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna were among nine people who died in the crash in Calabasas, Calif. 

Lizzo, the evening's first performer, also addressed the tragedy. Before launching into her song "Because I Love You," she said, "Tonight is for Kobe." 

Many other musicians, both on the Grammys red carpet and off, have also reacted to the news of Bryant's death. Toronto rapper Drake, who was not at the Grammys ceremony, posted a photo of a jacket with Bryant's face on it with the caption: "It can't be." 

Pop star Justin Bieber echoed Drake's comment, adding: "Gave me some of the best quotes that we smile about to this day! Love you man!" 


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?