Nathan Morris, Wanya Morris and Shawn Stockman of Boyz II Men, and Alicia Keys sing a tribute in honor of the late Kobe Bryant, seen on screen, at the 62nd annual Grammy Awards. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP)
The 2020 Grammy Awards kicked off in tribute to basketball icon Kobe Bryant, who died hours before the show, with a touching, emotional performance led by host Alicia Keys.
Keys was joined by Boyz II Men on Monday to sing an a capella version of “It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday” at the Staples Center — Bryant’s stomping ground — as the audience watched in awe.
“Here we are together on music’s biggest night celebrating the artists that do it best, but to be honest with you we are all feeling crazy sadness right now,” Keys said as she entered the stage, adding that “Los Angeles, America and the world-wide world lost a hero.”
She said the audience was “heartbroken in the house that Kobe Bryant built.”
“Right now Kobe and his daughter Gianna ... are in our spirits, they’re in our hearts, they’re in prayers, they’re in this building,” she added. “Take a moment and hold them inside of you and share our strength and our support with their families.”
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Before the show officially honored Kobe Bryant, Lizzo performed the songs “Truth Hurts” and “Cuz I Love You,” saying at the top of the show: “Tonight is for Kobe.”