Beyonce looked to the heavens as she honored her late friend Kobe Bryant at his public memorial on Monday.
Taking to the stage at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, she opened the day’s proceedings.
The pop star is a golden suit as she gives passionate performances or hits XO and Halo, supported by dozens or back up musicians.
Celebration of life: Beyonce looks to the heavens as she honors her late friend Kobe Bryant at his public memorial in Los Angeles on Monday
Looking skyward as she sang, she blew kisses into the crowd, where Kobe’s wife Vanessa Bryant sat with the family.
“I am here because I love Kobe and this was one of his favorite songs,” Beyonce shared with the huge crowd, asking them to sing along.
After Kobe’s death, Beyonce shared a tribute on social media, writing: “I will continue to pray diligently for your Queens. You are deeply missed promised Kobe. ”
The sold-out service took place at the downtown arena where Bryant played for the Los Angeles Lakers for 17 seasons of his two-decade NBA career. Bryant and his daughter were among nine people killed in January 26 in a helicopter crash.
The concourse was a sea of people dressed in the team colors of purple and yellow and others in black. On the scoreboard, the Bryant family’s life flashes by in pictures: Bryant with his wife and Gianna, the whole family in costumes, Gianna on the court, baby pictures or Gianna and her father.
Powerful: Taking the stage at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, she opened proceedings
Tribute: The pop star become a golden suit as she gift passionate performances or her hits XO and Halo, supported by dozens of back up musicians
The service just after Vanessa Bryant sued the owner of the helicopter that crashed in the fog last month. The wrongful-death lawsuit claimed by the pilot, Ara Zobayan, was careless and negligent by flying in cloudy conditions.
At the arena, fans were given a program containing photos, a purple KB pin and a T-shirt with photos of the father and daughter. The concourse was a sea of purple, gold and black clothing.
The service will feature speakers reflecting on Kobe Bryant’s impact on his sport and the world, along with music and retrospectives on Bryant’s on-court achievements. Bryant became active in film, television and writing after being retired from basketball in 2016.
Bryant’s family, dozens of sports greats and many major figures in Bryant’s public life were expected to attend.
Looking skyward: Beyonce cool a powerful performance
The sold-out service took place at the downtown arena where Bryant played for the Los Angeles Lakers for 17 seasons of his two-decade NBA career
Powerful: Looking skyward as she sang, she blew kisses into the crowd, where Kobe’s wife Vanessa Bryant sat with her family
Mourned: Bryant and his daughter were among nine people killed in a helicopter crash
Money from ticket sales was given to the Mamba and Mambacita Sports Foundation, which supports youth sports programs in underserved communities and teaches sports to girls and women.
Vendors sold flowers, Lakers scarves and commemorative newspapers and jerseys. Buses drove up and down Figueroa Street with their signs lit up with “RIP KOBE.”
Bryant played his entire 20-year NBA career with the Lakers, who moved from the Forum to Staples Center when it opened in 1999. The five-time NBA champions two retired jersey numbers – 8 and 24 – hang high above the arena where it became the third-leading scorer in league history until Lakers star LeBron James passed him on the night before Bryant’s death.
Fundraiser: Money from ticket sales was for the Mamba and Mambacita Sports Foundation
Farewell: Beyonce was a friend of Kobe’s
Bryant’s death caused by outpouring or complaint across Los Angeles, where he remained the city’s most popular athlete into retirement. Dozens of public memorials and murals have been installed around the sprawling metropolis, and thousands of fans gathered daily outside Staples Center to commit after the crash.
Symbolic meanings will run throughout the ceremony, which will be a 24-foot-by-24-foot stage. Vanessa Bryant, Kobe’s wife and Gianna’s mother, chose Feb. No. 24 as the date in honor of the uniform numbers of Kobe and Gianna, who wore 2 on her youth basketball teams.
A private funeral was a hero for Kobe and Gianna Bryant in Orange County on February 7.