At his Sunday Service, Kanye West paid a tribute to his late friend, Kobe Bryant, just hours after his passing. Alongside fellow artists Kirk Franklin and Chance the Rapper, West honored Bryant through song and praise. The special edition of Kanye’s Sunday Service was held at midnight on the same day of Bryant’s death.
During the live dedication, West visibly teared up as he took a moment to pay tribute to his late friend. As part of the tribute, Kanye performed a freestyle rap about the basketball star, “I was driving home / They was leaving your jersey on the freeway / And I just broke down, broke down, broke down.”
Kobe Bryant passed away on Sunday, January 26, 2020, in a tragic helicopter crash in Calabasas, California. He was one of nine casualties of the accident, along with his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna “GiGi” Bryant.
Kim Kardashian Reacts To Bryant’s Death
Kanye West’s wife, Kim Kardashian West, posted about Kobe Bryant’s death before the start of the Sunday Service. In an Instagram post, she said, “My heart is so heavy. No one should ever experience what Vanessa is going through. This has affected us all so much but I cannot begin to imagine what Vanessa is feeling losing her husband and baby girl. I cry just thinking about it. I am praying for the Bryant family, the Altobelli family and the families of all who perished in this unthinkable tragedy. Rest In Peace Legend.”
When the Sunday Service event started, Kim uploaded several videos of the event to her Instagram stories showcasing the musical tributes paid to Bryant and his daughter by Kanye West, Kirk Franklin, Chance the Rapper, and more. On one of the videos, she wrote the caption, “I needed to hear this.” In another video, Franklin can be heard asking, “Why do bad things happen to good people?” To her Twitter account, Kim posted the message, “Kobe, We love you brother,” he wrote. “We’re praying for your family and appreciate the life you’ve lived and all the inspiration you gave.”
Celebrities Mourn Kobe Bryant
Kanye West and the attendees of his special Sunday Service were among hundreds of thousands of fans and celebrities who mourned the death of the basketball legend. Actress Olivia Munn released a respectful statement about Bryant, saying that she was in the process of working on a project with him at the time of his death. In her statement posted on her Instagram page, Munn said, “Kobe. You were such a wonderful friend. Always positive and thoughtful and supportive and reliable and so, so bright… One of the brightest souls I’ve ever seen and I am absolutely devastated by this.”
President Barack Obama also released a statement in tribute to Bryant and his daughter. Through his official Twitter account, he wrote, “Kobe was a legend on the court and just getting started in what would have been just as meaningful a second act. To lose Gianna is even more heartbreaking to us as parents. Michelle and I send love and prayers to Vanessa and the entire Bryant family on an unthinkable day.” The president, an avid basketball player and fan himself, collaborated with Bryant on multiple philanthropic fronts.