The 62nd Annual Grammy Awards on Sunday night was a somber affair due to the 41-year-old NBA legend Kobe Bryant’s untimely death. Reportedly, the helicopter he was traveling in along with his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others crashed on a hillside in Calabasas, California just hours before the event.  

A collective grief blanketed the Staples Center in Los Angeles where Grammys 2020 was being held. Outside, fans gathered to honor and mourn Kobe Bryant. Staples Center is the home of the Lakers and is fondly called by fans as “The House Kobe Built.” 

During the pre-telecast of the show, Bryant was honored with a moment of silence. On Twitter, the Recording Academy said: “Remembering Kobe Bryant tonight while we honor music in the house that he built.”

Tributes poured in for both Nipsey Hussle (American rapper who was gunned down in March 31, 2019) and Kobe Bryant all throughout the event. For instance, Lizzo, who won the Best Pop Solo Performance, Best Traditional R&B Performance, and Best Urban Contemporary Album trophies—dedicated her medley performance of “Cuz I Love You” and “Truth Hurts” to Bryant. 

Lizzo later told the viewers during her acceptance speech, “Today, all of my little problems I thought were the biggest in the world were gone, and I realized that there are people hurting right now.” She added, “You guys create beautiful music. You guys create connectivity. We need to continue to reach out. This is the beginning of making music that moves people again – making music that liberates people.”

Likewise, Alicia Keys who hosted the event performed “It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday” with Boyz II Men as a tribute to Bryant. She said:

To be honest with you, we’re all feeling crazy sadness right now, because earlier today Los Angeles, America and the whole wide world lost a hero. Right now, Kobe and his daughter Gianna and all those that have been tragically lost today are in our spirit, are in our hearts, are in our prayers, they’re in this building.

Keys added, “Music — it’s the most healing thig in the world. So let’s get some healing going on.

Lil Nas X, who won Best Pop Duo/Group Performance and Best Music Video performed “Old Town Road” with K-pop band BTS, Mason Ramsey, Diplo, and Billy Ray Cyrus. Quite noticeable in the background during their performance was a Kobe Bryant jersey and a Billboard magazine cover.

Nipsey Hussle was the Grammy Award 2020 winner for Best Rap Performance and Best Rap/Sung Performance. Artists John Legend, Meek Mill, DJ Khaled, Kirk Franklin, Roddy Ricch, and YG performed a tribute to the late rapper. DJ Khaled ended their performance with, “Long live Nipsey, long live Kobe,” all while Bryant’s and Nipsey’s photos were projected in the background.

The biggest winner of the night was Billie Eilish who won the Best New Artist, Album, and Record and Song of the Year awards. For the complete list of winners at the 2020 Grammys, click here.

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