Kobe Bryant memorial: Beyonce, Alicia Keys and Christina Aguilera perform

WTVD logo
Monday, February 24, 2020
Vanessa Bryant, Kobe Bryant, Beyonce and Jay-Z attend Sprite's 3rd Annual Jay-Z And Lebron James "Two Kings" Dinner & After Party in 2009.

LOS ANGELES -- Beyonce Knowles-Carter kicked off Monday's celebration of life honoring Kobe and Gigi Bryant at the Staples Center.

Beyonce, who was introduced as a "very close friend of the Bryant family," performed a medley of her songs "XO" and "Halo."

"I'm here because I love Kobe and this was one of his favorite songs," Beyonce, clad in a gold suit, said at the beginning of her performance.

"I want us to do it all together. I want you to sing it so loud they hear your love," Beyonce added, motioning toward the sky. She closed the performance with a kiss toward the sky.

Two other A-list performers took the stage over the course of the two-hour program.

Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka described how Bryant accomplished whatever he set his mind to, including learning to play Beethoven's "Moonlight Sonata" on piano. Then he introduced Alicia Keys, who performed a version of the sonata.

Later in the program, Christina Aguilera performed an emotional rendition of "Ave Maria."

Fans fortunate enough to get tickets to the service filled the arena, where a stage surrounded by thousands of red roses has replaced the basketball court.

Bryant, his daughter and seven others were killed last month in a helicopter crash in foggy weather while heading to a basketball tournament that Gianna was to play in.

PHOTOS: Kobe Bryant, daughter Gianna shared love of basketball

Sandy Kenyon captures the view from the top of Pride Rock on the set of "The Lion King" on Broadway with Disney Theatrical President Thomas Schumacher.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.