While fans from all over Los Angeles crowded around Staples Center on Sunday after news broke that Lakers legend Kobe Bryant and his daughter, 13-year-old Gianna, were among nine victims in a tragic helicopter accident, inside the arena, celebrities from all over attended the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards. The mournful air of Los Angeles and the significance of the event being held in the arena where Bryant led the Lakers to five championships was not lost on anyone in attendance and the city’s loss hung palpably over the night. Host Alicia Keys opened the night with reference to “the house that [Kobe] built” and stars continued to mention him and his legacy throughout the night.
Kobe Bryant was not the only LA legend being remembered at the Grammy Awards this year, though. A tribute was planned for Los Angeles native and Grammy award winning rapper Nipsey Hussle, who was fatally shot in March. John Legend, YG, Meek Mill, DJ Khaled, and others performed a moving tribute to Hussle, which was modified on the day of the awards to include remembrances of Kobe Bryant and daughter Gianna. Pictures of Hussle and Bryant towered over the venue during the tribute, while the latter’s retired jerseys hung illuminated over the stadium all night.
Los Angeles lost one of its icons on Sunday morning while still mourning another. Nipsey Hussle and Kobe Bryant will both be remembered for a long time for their contributions to rap and basketball, respectively, but more importantly, as LA legends.
By Oorie Garabedian
Photo: Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times