After the tragic passing of Kobe Bryant on Jan. 26, endless celebrities have paid tribute to the NBA star in various ways. But it was only fitting that a fellow legend took the stage to honor him during his Feb. 24 Celebration of Life memorial in Los Angeles. The video of Beyoncé's Kobe Bryant tribute performance is so moving.
A surprise performance from Bey is always a special moment, but her tribute to Bryant was undeniably one of her most meaningful performances to date. “I’m here because I love Kobe and this was one of his favorite songs," she told the crowd, before launching into "XO." Beyoncé belted out the lyrics to the 2013 hit with so much emotion, before shifting into a stunning rendition of "Halo."
The performance took place at the Los Angeles Staples Center, the same arena where Bryant played his entire 20-season professional NBA career with The Lakers.
Though the performance list was not disclosed leading up to the memorial event, fans scrambled to land themselves a seat. The memorial was a ticket-only event, and a crowd of 20,000 attended, though over 80,000 people entered the ticket lottery for entry.
You can watch Beyonce's powerful tribute performance for yourself below.
Beyonce previously paid tribute to Bryant and his late daughter Gianna with a post on Instagram. “I will continue to diligently pray for your Queens,” she wrote. “You are deeply missed beloved Kobe.”
Beyonce also posted several, separate photos of a young Bryant and Gianna in their memory.
Bryant, Gianna, and seven others tragically lost their lives in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California on Jan. 26. The news rocked NBA fans to their core, and an outpouring of support was shown to Bryant's wife, Vanessa.
It's only fitting that Beyoncé kicked off the day of tribute for Bryant, seeing as the two shared a years-long friendship. Not only have they been photographed together through the years, but Bryant also appeared in the Destiny's Child music video for "Bug A Boo."
In a time where it's hard to find the right words, at least, Beyoncé's touching performance hit the right note, and honored Bryant's legacy in the most beautiful way.