Just hours after the world was hit with the news of Kobe Bryant and his daughter’s untimely death, the Recording Academy decided to add a tribute to the award show’s program. As the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards started in Los Angeles’ Staples Center, the night’s host, Alicia Keys, made her way to the stage and addressed the audience and viewers.
“Here we are, together on music’s biggest night, celebrating the artists that do it best,” she began her opening statement. “But to be honest with you, we’re all feeling crazy sadness right now. Because earlier today, Los Angeles, America, and the whole wide world lost a hero. And we’re literally standing here heartbroken in the house that Kobe Bryant built.”
After the audience erupted in applause, Keys continued: “Right now, Kobe and his daughter Gianna and all 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, and I would like to ask everybody to take a moment and just hold them inside of you. Hold them inside of you and share our strength and our support with their families.
“We never imagined in a million years we’d have to start the show like this. Never, never, never, never, never, never. So we wanted to do something that could describe a tiny bit [of] how we feel right now.”
Keys began singing a short a capella rendition of “It’s So Hard To Say Goodbye To Yesterday” with Nathan Morris, Shawn Stockman, and Wanya Morris of Boyz II Men. Watch their performance below.