As Kobe Bryant fans gather at LA's Staples Center on Monday (Feb. 24) for The Celebration of Life for Kobe & Gianna Bryant, a public memorial honoring the late basketball legend and his daughter, Billboard is taking a look back at some moving tributes musicians made on the day the tragic news broke.
Kobe and Gianna Bryant were among the nine people killed in a helicopter crash in California on the morning of Jan. 26. Later that day, Billboard spoke with a handful of artists on the red carpet at the Grammy Awards, as they shared stories and memories about what the NBA legend meant to them.
Quavotold Billboard that he had fond memories of meeting Kobe a month prior to his death and that the athlete was “going dad mode,” getting a picture of Gianna with Migos.
“One of my friends had tears in his eyes and it was just amazing moment,” Quavo added. “Everybody was shocked. It's a devastating loss. I'm a basketball player. I love the game. And I'll never look at watching the game the same.”
YBN Cordae called Kobe Bryant an “inspiration” and a “perfect role model,” while Rick Ross noted that he was a “true champion.”
“I believe he would want us to celebrate his legacy,” Ross added. “When I think about him, I’m gonna think of all the highlights…It's gonna go from him being a great dad, a great example, as well as that dude that scored 81.”
“He was my favorite player,” confessed Lucky Daye. “I tried to play like him…He actually motivated me and my brothers to stay off the streets and stop doing stupid stuff, so we played basketball around the neighborhood from watching Kobe…He kept us safe from a distance and that's magical and to lose somebody that great, it's crazy.”
You can watch the full tribute video above.