The guest list for Kobe Bryant’s memorial service, dubbed “The Celebration of Life,” was kept tightly under wraps prior to February 24, so when Beyonce opened up the ceremony to perform, viewers at the Staples Center and those watching from home were completely surprised.
With a live band, and a full gospel choir, Queen B performed an incredible tribute to the Lakers star, his daughter Gianna, and the seven other victims lost during the tragic helicopter crash the took their lives on January 26. Beyonce told the crowd on 20,000 attendees, “I’m here because I love Kobe.”
Beyonce first performed “XO,” which she explained was one of Kobe’s favorite songs before singing a moving rendition of “Halo.”
With a huge superstar such as Beyonce kicking things off, viewers could only wonder of the caliber of artists and guests lined up to speak or perform at the memorial service. A few hours later, Christina Aguilera sang “Ave Maria,” and Alicia Keys also performed “Moonlight Sonata” on the piano, the latter of whom dedicated her 2020 Grammys performance to Black Mamba.
Beyonce’s moving tribute quickly went viral on Twitter. Fans posted live updated from the service with the hashtag “Kobe Farewell.” Beyonce actually paused to restart the song so that the audience could join her in singing.
ESPN NBA reporter Dave McMenamin tweeted, “Saw Beyoncé perform with Destiny’s Child during the 2001 NBA Finals in Philadelphia when Kobe Bryant and the Lakers played the Sixers. Now she leads off Bryant’s Celebration of Life in L.A. with XO and Halo. Life is a trip, man.”
Reporter Heather Monahan tweeted, “Absolute chills watching Beyonce honor Kobe & Gigi at the #KobeFarewell.”
All Proceeds From The ‘Celebration of Life’ Memorial Goes To The Mamba & Mambacita Sports Foundation
The sold-out memorial kicked off a little after 10: 30 a.m. PT, with all ticket proceeds going to the Mamba and Mambacita Sports Foundation. The guest list of notable speakers and performer were kept under wraps until Monday’s service, but it was largely expected for Vanessa to be present.
In addition to Kobe’s wife of nearly 20 years, Vanessa, being in attendance, it’s also believed her mother Sofia Laine and sister Sophie Laine would be there for moral support, as well as Kobe’s two older sisters, Shaya and Sharia Bryant, with whom she remained close.
Vanessa Bryant Held A Private Burial With Family On February 7
In documents obtained by Extra TV, Bryant’s held their funeral service on February 7, at Pacific View Mortuary, which is located in Corona Del Mar, California. It’s the same location where Hollywood’s most famous cowboy John Wayne was also buried.
It’s unknown how many friends and family attended the private burial but based on Vanessa’s social media post last weekend, which featured a video of her daughter, Capri, 7 months, standing up with the help of her aunt, which meant Kobe’s sister Sharia Bryant Washington aka “Aunt Ri-Ri” was in town from Las Vegas for the service.