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Grammys 2020: A Salute To A Lost Legend




by G. Brown

The night was designed to shine on the biggest stars of music, but the sudden death of NBA legend Kobe Bryant turned songs of celebration into a melody of tribute.

Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna were among nine to perish in a helicopter as it crashed into a hillside Sunday morning in Calabasas, California.  By Sunday night, the news of the tragic deaths had shaken not only California but the entire country and much of the world.

With the shocking news only hours old, the Grammys was still scheduled to take place at the Staples Center—the place where Bryant played for 20 years with his team the LA Lakers.  Many referred to the Staples Center as the ‘house that Kobe built.’

While many of the stars present personally knew or at least had met Kobe, even in mourning they were aware the show had to go on.

Singer Lizzo kicked off the first of many tributes with the declaration  “Tonight is for Kobe.” Dressed in a lavish black gown, Lizzo opened with “Cuz I Love You”, a stirring ballad that resonated with many of the performers, the audience and the world.

The night usually reserved for celebration and fun was full of sorrow, shock and sombreness.   Host Alicia Keys was joined onstage by Boyz II Men to dedicate a special acapella rendition of “It’s So Hard To Say Goodbye”.  Keys said, “Here we are together on music’s biggest night, celebrating our artists that do it best but to be honest with you we’all feeling crazy sadness right now because earlier today Los Angeles, America, and the whole wide world lost a hero. And we’re literally standing here, heartbroken in the house that Kobe Bryant built.”

Keys then asked the audience to join in a moment of silence to “share our strength and support…” with the families of all the victims in the crash.

Artists including Rick Ross, Kirk Franklin, and Billy Ray Cyrus all paid tribute. Just about every performer found the words or some symbolic way to honor Bryant.  Pop Star Billie Eilish thought that like many of us that the news of Kobe’s death was fake.  She says she was sitting in the green room waiting for the awards show to begin.  When the reality of his death slowly began to sink in, Eilish said, “It’s genuinely unbelievable…I feel like anything I say is not enough…”

Rappers Ryn-DMC held up a jersey emblazoned with the number 24 in honor of Bryant.

Singer John Legend, rapper Meek Mill along with Kirk Franklin and DJ Khaled gave a tribute to both Bryant and West Coast rapper, activist and entrepreneur Nipsey Hussle who was shot 10 times and killed in the parking lot of his store.  A giant screen brought both men back to life momentarily with pictures from throughout their career.

The Grammy Awards was a microcosm of the world showing how millions, even billions of people who never even met Bryant were touched by his life.

In Kobe Japan, the town that Bryant was named after, Mayor Kizo Hisamoto issued a statement saying, “Our city had the good fortune of crossing paths with Kobe Bryant as his father named him after the city, gave his love of Kobe beef….Kobe Bryant was an international superstar who also held a special place for the people of Kobe city.”.

TRN joins with millions around the globe to extend heartfelt condolences to the Bryant family for their loss and the families of all those devastated by Sunday’s plane crash.

Rest in paradise to all the victims.

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  1. Avatar

    NBA is fixed

    January 28, 2020 at 8:49 am

    They killed Michael Jackson in 2009. They killed Prince in 2016. Now they killed Kobe Bryant. Who are these white devils going to kill next? Will it be Denzel Washington, Floyd Mayweather, Magic Johnson or Barack Obama?

  2. Avatar

    Shawn J.

    January 27, 2020 at 7:51 pm

    On (or off) topic: you spelled Run with a “y” instead of a “u”

  3. Avatar

    Shawn J.

    January 27, 2020 at 7:49 pm

    My heart truly goes out not only Kobe Bryant’s family, but to the families of these victims who perished in the helicopter crash yesterday morning; may they all rest in Heaven/paradise/peace/power. 🙁

  4. Avatar

    NBA is fixed

    January 27, 2020 at 7:38 pm

    Conspicuous in silence is the Lakers owner Jeanie Buss. She and her late father Jerry Buss made billions of dollars off of Kobe Bryant. She hasn’t said a single word. I wonder why?

  5. Avatar

    NBA is fixed

    January 27, 2020 at 7:36 pm

    Looks like Kobe Bryant was killed/sacrificed so Lebron can become the dominant basketball player and win the championship for the Lakers. We are supposed to believe that Kobe died the day after Lebron passes him on the all time scoring record in Philadelphia (Kobe’s hometown) a coincidence?

    I don’t believe in coincidence, I believe in conspiracy. I believe Kobe was killed so Lebron can be the A-list star player for the Lakers and the NBA. Lebron knew what he was doing when he signed with the Lakers.

    PS: Both Lebron James and Kobe Bryant are sponsored by Nike

  6. Avatar

    NBA is fixed

    January 27, 2020 at 7:25 pm

    Brothers and sistas, especially black parents, please think about this message. We have been playing sports for over one hundred years and only one black man has become a billionaire (Jordan). No black woman has become a billionaire. Over the last one hundred years, dozens if not hundreds of white people have become billionaires off of the black man and black woman’s extraordinary athleticism.

    Kobe Bryant played basketball for twenty years, resulting in many white people and white corporations making billions of dollars. Kobe did not become a billionaire. Kobe may have made millions of dollars, he won many awards, but he did not become a billionaire and he was unable to own his own basketball league or basketball team. Question one, did Kobe win or did the white people who made billions of dollars off of him win? Question two, if a black athlete makes millions of dollars, wins several championships and dies at age forty one, did he win or did he lose? #BlackLaborWhiteWealth

  7. Avatar

    NBA is fixed

    January 27, 2020 at 7:14 pm

    Black American athletes are abused and tortured in a manner that’s similar to the abuse of horses at Santa Anita Race Track. Currently over forty horses have died at Santa Anita Race Track. How many black athletes have died before age sixty five playing sports in America? Once the horses are no longer able to run, the horses mysteriously die. Once a black athlete can no longer play their chosen sport, many of them die a mysterious death. Here is the list of black athletes who mysteriously died when their sports careers were over.

    1. Kobe Bryant age 41
    2. Junior Seau age 42
    3. Kortez Kennedy age 49
    4. Walter Payton age 45
    5. Korey Stringer age 27

    Brothers, do you still want to play sports? Do you want to sacrifice your body and your life for the entertainment and wealth for white men? Do you want to become a huge sports superstar knowing that there is a chance that you could either die or be killed as soon as your sports career is over?

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