Beyoncé recently took to the stage at the Staples Center on Monday (Feb. 24) to open the memorial event honouring the late Kobe and Gianna Bryant.

She sang a touching rendition of her hit song ‘XO’, and also performed ‘Halo’.

The superstar, clad in a marigold suit jacket and top, opened up her emotional performance with a few heartfelt words. 

“I’m here because I love Kobe, and this was one of his favourite songs,” she shared after singing the first line, before beginning again. “So I want to start that over, but I want us to do it all together. I want us to sing it so loud that we hear the love.”  

Beyoncé also altered the lyrics of the first verse of ‘XO’ to tribute Kobe, changing the word “crashing” to “laughing.”

With the help of a string section and a choir of singers wearing white, Beyonce transitioned into ‘Halo,’ leaving not a single dry eye in the arena.

Watch the performance below.    

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Bryant is regarded as one of basketball’s all-time greats. He spent his entire NBA career with the Los Angeles Lakers, where he became a five-time NBA champion before his retirement in 2016.

He was twice crowned finals MVP and won the award for the league’s Most Valuable Player in 2008. Bryant made a whopping 18 appearances in the annual all-star game and was named in the all-NBA first team 11 times.

kobe bryant lebron james
Bryant and LeBron James [image via Instagram]

After retirement, Bryant wrote and narrated the film Dear Basketball, an animated short that bore the same name as his retirement letter to The Player’s Tribune. The film won the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film in 2018.

In 2018, Bryant also released the book, The Mamba Mentality: How I Play. The memoir looks at Bryant’s “famously detailed approach and the steps he took to prepare mentally and physically to not just succeed at the game, but to excel.”

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