Beyoncé Comforts Vanessa Bryant During Kobe and Gianna Bryant Celebration Of Life Memorial
Beyoncé comforted Vanessa Bryant as she got emotional during Michael Jordan's tribute to Kobe at the "Celebration of Life" for Kobe and Gianna Bryant in the Staples Center in Los Angeles on February 24th.
Beyoncé and Vanessa Bryant had a moment of comfort between each other during Monday's Celebration Of Life for Kobe Bryant and Gianna Bryant. Beyoncé performed two of her hits, "XO" and "Halo" to start the memorial service. She was captured on camera comforting Vanessa, as the widow was overwhelmed with emotions in the Stapes Center.
Vanessa, 37, was seen closing her eyes and dropping her head while Michael Jordan delivered his own moving speech about the late basketball star Kobe, and his daughter Gianna. As tears rolled down her face, Beyoncé, 38, put her hand on Vanessa's shoulder. The two held hands during the tribute and Beyoncé repeatedly comforted Vanessa as she tried to collect herself.
To kick-off the memorial, Beyoncé performed with a musical tribute as she wore a yellow suit in honor of the Lakers' color and had a background choir wearing all-white suits.
Not shortly after Beyoncé's performance, Vanessa took the stage accompanied by her three daughters, Natalia, 17, Bianka, 3, and 8-month old Capri. The surviving members of the Bryant stood together to eulogize the late Kobe and Gianna.
Vanessa began her speech by sharing memories of her "baby girl" Gianna, who was just 13-years-old when she was killed in the helicopter crash on January 26th alongside her father Kobe and seven others. Vanessa said:
"Gianna Bryant is an amazingly sweet and gentle soul. She was always thoughtful. She was daddy's girl but I know she loved her mamma. She was one of my best friends."
Vanessa also added that her daughter "loved family traditions" and "looked out for everyone" as she continued to express her sadness over the milestones she would miss out on due to Gianna's death, such as the idea of her late daughter getting married.Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
After eulogizing her daughter, Vanessa went on to remember her husband, Kobe, who was 41 when he was killed in the helicopter crash. Vanessa said:
"He was the most amazing husband. Kobe loved me more than I could ever express or put into words. I have no idea how I deserved a man who loved or wanted me more than Kobe. We loved each other with our whole beings, two perfectly imperfect people making a beautiful family and raising our sweet and amazing girls."
Kobe and Vanessa wed in 2001.Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
To conclude her moving tribute, Vanessa said that Kobe and Gianna "were so easy to love." The grieving wife went on:
"Everyone naturally gravitated toward them. They were funny, happy, silly and they loved life. They were so full of joy and adventure...God knew they couldn't be on this earth without each other. He had to bring them home to heaven together...Babe, you take care of our Gigi...we're still the best team."
The memorial was held on February 24th, and the date honored Gianna's No. 2 jersey at the Mamba Sports Academy and Kobe's No. 24 jersey from the majority of his Lakers' career.
The memorial also honored the other victims: John Altobelli, Keri Altobelli, Alyssa Altobelli, Sarah Chester, Payton Chester, Christina Mauser, and the pilot, Ara Zobayan. Other than Vanessa, Beyoncé, and Michael Jorda, Jimmy Kimmel, Shaquille O'Neal, Christina Aguilera, and Alicia Keys performed or delivered tributes to Kobe and Gianna at the memorial on Monday.
Donations to the Mamba on Three Fund will help support the families of the other seven victims of the crash while contributions to the Mamba & Mambacita Sports Foundation will aid in supporting youth sports.
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