On Sunday, the death of basketball star Kobe Bryant, beloved and revered by millions, came as a major shock to fans around the world. The retired NBA star, aged 41, and his daughter Gianna were among the nine people in a helicopter that crashed near Calabasas, Calif, according to the New York Times. Kobe and his daughter were on their way to an academy where he coached her team. He leaves behind an indelible legacy and his bereaved wife Vanessa and three daughters.
Just a few hours after the news of Kobe’s death broke, celebrities had arrived to attend the 2020 Grammy Awards, where they all came together to pay homage to the fallen athlete. The Grammy’s preceremony began with a moment of silence and the fraternity continued to offer their tributes to Kobe on the red carpet, from Priyanka Chopra having sketched his jersey number ’24’ on a nail, to the Jonas Brothers wearing purple ribbons to reportedly honor his memory. Host Alicia Keys referenced the Staples Center as “the house that Kobe built,” and dedicated one of her own songs to him.
In September 2013, Kobe made a visit to the UAE, where he spent the weekend coaching a team of local celebrities, including RJs in a live showdown against a side of Real Madrid basketball legends at the American University of Dubai. Speaking to Time Out Dubai ahead of his visit that year, he had said, “I’m excited to be coming, it’s going to be a great experience.” You’ll live on in our hearts, Kobe. Rest in eternal peace.