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Kobe and Gianna Bryant honored at Grammys in emotional tribute

Singer Alicia Keys, host of the Grammy Awards, took a moment as the ceremony got underway Sunday night to reflect on the deaths of Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna, who died in a helicopter crash Sunday.

“Here we are together, on music’s biggest night, celebrating the artists that do it best, but to be honest with you, we’re all feeling crazy sadness right now,” Keys said.

“Because earlier today, Los Angeles, America and the whole wide world lost a hero,” Keys continued after show opener Lizzo performed at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, where Bryant played for much of his career. “And we’re literally standing here heartbroken in the house that Kobe Bryant built.

“Right now, Kobe and his daughter Gianna and all of those that have been tragically lost today are in our spirit, they’re in our hearts, they’re in our prayers, they’re in this building,” she continued.

Keys asked everyone “to take a moment and just hold them inside of you.”

“We never imagined in a million years we’d have to start the show like this,” Keys said. “So we wanted to do something that could describe — a tiny bit — how we all feel right now.”

She was joined on stage by Boyz II Men for a performance of the R&B group’s song “It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday.”

Afterward, Keys said: “We love you, Kobe.”

Bryant, 41, and Gianna, 13, were killed Sunday morning in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California. Seven other people were killed in the crash, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office.

Fans gathered outside the Staples Center after hearing of Bryant’s death.

At the start of the show, Lizzo declared, “Tonight is for Kobe,” before she performed a medley of “Cuz I Love You” and “Truth Hurts.”