Last night, thousands of people flocked to the Staples Center to pay tribute to Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, following their tragic deaths last month.
Many famous faces made heartfelt tributes to the lives lost on board the doomed helicopter, but it was Christina Aguilera's emotional performance that really stood out.
Keep scrolling to read about the beautiful ceremony, and to watch Christina's heartfelt performance.
For those of you that aren't aware, Kobe Bryant is a legend.
via: Getty ImagesAfter he left high school, he entered the NBA directly and went onto win 5 championships.
He was one of the world's best shooting guards.
via: Getty ImagesKobe Bryant made history on many occasions. His twenty-year career in the NBA saw him become the all-time leading scorer in Lakers history in 2010. At thirty-four years old, he also became the youngest player in league history to reach 30,000 career points. What an achievement.
However, in 2016, he retired.
via: Getty ImagesAfter a string of injuries began taking their toll on his body, he decided it would be best to leave the game, though that didn't stop him from coaching and doing extra work on the side in order to aid the NBA.
He made sure he went out with a bang.
via: Getty ImagesWho could ever forget that final game? The Lakers versus Utah Jazz. The latter team didn't stand a chance after seeing Kobe score sixty points in the game, which became a career highlight for the basketballer.
But last month, the world's heart was broken.
via: Getty ImagesKobe Bryant was tragically killed in a helicopter crash on Jan 26. The NBA star's private helicopter crashed in Calabasas at around 9:45 am local time, TMZ sports confirmed.
Kobe was known for opting to use a helicopter for travel...
via: Getty ImagesBut tragically, his private helicopter went down and a "fire broke out," TMZ reported.
During a press conference, it was confirmed there were no survivors.
Tragically, Bryant's daughter, Gianna, was also on board the helicopter at the time of the crash.
via: Getty ImagesTMZ Sports reported that Gianna, aged thirteen, tragically died alongside her dad in the crash. It is thought that the father and daughter were on their way to the Mamba Academy for basketball practice, nearby Thousand Oaks.
This is utterly devastating news.
Heartbreaking footage quickly emerged showing the aftermath of the tragedy.
.@LACOFD helicopter over the scene . As air ops quickly told me it is a fire not sheriffs chopper hovering and now… https://t.co/I5VE1IaTao— Richard Winton (@Richard Winton)1580066118.0
The tragedy claimed the lives of 7 others...
via: TwitterAll 9 of the passengers on board were confirmed to have died in the tragic crash.
The news has been hard for people to stomach.Kobe really touched the hearts of so many people, so tributes for the star have been pouring in.
Barack Obama reiterated that Kobe was a "legend."
Kobe was a legend on the court and just getting started in what would have been just as meaningful a second act. To… https://t.co/YlRRr9ng7Q— Barack Obama (@Barack Obama)1580075776.0
In a slightly less empathetic way, Donald Trump also tweeted this:Melania also sent her condolences.
And Whoopi Goldberg also emphasized how much of a hero he was.
RIP Kobe, hero to many including my grandson, extraordinary athlete and always kind to me & my family. My deepest condolences to his family— Whoopi Goldberg (@Whoopi Goldberg)1580070506.0
Kevin Hart was shocked by the news...
This honestly doesn’t make sense....I just saw you man. This hurts my heart. God please place your hands on his fam… https://t.co/dqHSB8SA5F— Kevin Hart (@Kevin Hart)1580071349.0
But his pain got worse as he found out that Kobe's daughter was involved too...
I have no words...All I have is real tears....This is beyond heartbreaking...#prayingforthebryantfamily #RIPGianna… https://t.co/x9XRqhfUQa— Kevin Hart (@Kevin Hart)1580074717.0
And supermodel Gigi Hadid talked about her close relationship with the legend.
Being a fan of yours brought so much joy to my life, like so many. Love forever. Sending strength and my deepest co… https://t.co/RUVYpPgXKU— Gigi Hadid (@Gigi Hadid)1580070975.0
Viola Davis was also amongst those who paid tribute to Kobe.
My heart goes out to Vanessa. Completely devastating. I know how much he LOVED his family and children! Just devast… https://t.co/DFCoMQBN0I— Viola Davis (@Viola Davis)1580080611.0
Amber Rose sent all of her love to Kobe's wife Vanessa Bryant.
As a mother I’m so devastated for Vanessa, her Daughters and their family. I sat and thought about my life without… https://t.co/NLFgBF1K5I— Amber Rose (@Amber Rose)1580105964.0
And a host of other sports personalities sent their condolences to the family.
Heart going out to the Bryant family right now. ❤️. RIP @kobebryant— Megan Rapinoe (@Megan Rapinoe)1580069569.0
And Usain Bolt too.
Still can’t believe @kobebryant 🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿 https://t.co/swscrtnFAx— Usain St. Leo Bolt (@Usain St. Leo Bolt)1580069894.0
One of the most painful outcomes of this tragic accident is reflected in Kobe Bryant's last Instagram post.
via: Getty ImagesHe and LeBron James were two legends in the sport. And they helped build each other, celebrate their successes and support one another through difficult times.
And just twenty-four hours before the incident, Kobe had congratulated LeBron.
So no wonder the news hit him extremely hard.
LeBron James emotional as he exits the Lakers team plane following news of Kobe and Gianna Bryant’s death. 💔😢 More… https://t.co/WRIM9Rhop0— Complex (@Complex)1580084220.0
He penned a heartbreaking tribute to Kobe.
via: Getty ImagesHe took to Instagram to pay tribute to the basketball legend, whom he describes as his "brother." "I’m Not Ready but here I go. Man I sitting here trying to write something for this post but every time I try I begin crying again just thinking about you, niece Gigi and the friendship/bond/brotherhood we had," he began the post.
"I literally just heard your voice Sunday morning."
via: Getty Images"Didn’t think for one bit in a million years that would be the last conversation we’d have. WTF!! I’m heartbroken and devastated my brother!! "Man I love you big bro," he continued.
He truly poured his heart out.
via: Getty Images"My heart goes to Vanessa and the kids. I promise you I’ll continue your legacy man! You mean so much to us all here especially #LakerNation and it’s my responsibility to put this shit on my back and keep it going!" "Please give me the strength from the heavens above and watch over me! I got US here!"
He then finished his touching tribute with a final message...
Kobe's wife, Vanessa, recently opened up about her tragic loss.
Vanessa admitted how difficult coming to terms with her loss is.
"It feels wrong."
"God I wish they were here and this nightmare would be over.""Praying for all of the victims of this horrible tragedy. Please continue to pray for all."
Two weeks after their tragic deaths, Kobe and Gianna Bryant were laid to rest.
The ceremony was reportedly "extremely hard for everyone."ET. "The ceremony was extremely hard for everyone as it's still hard for them to grasp they lost two beautiful souls."
As well as the private funeral, Vanessa revealed the finalized plans for a public memorial service for Kobe and Gianna.
Yesterday's date, 2/24/20 is a special date for the family.
'2' is the number Gianna played in basketball.
On Valentine's Day, Vanessa paid tribute.
It was his favorite holiday.
She shared a photo.
And last night's memorial proved to be as emotional as expected...With millions of people around the world watching the memorial at The Staples Center, gathering outside the venue, or via live streams.
Vanessa delivered an incredibly moving speech.
"God knew they couldn't be on this earth without each other." #KobeFarewell 💜💛 https://t.co/ZqHCz2SNrs— Entertainment Tonight (@Entertainment Tonight)1582572530.0
He delivered a tear-filled speech in honor of Kobe, who he describes as his "little brother."
via: Twitter"Kobe was my dear friend, he was like a little brother," he said. “Everyone always wanted to talk about the comparisons between he and I. I just wanted to talk about Kobe."
Jordan went on to explain how his and Kobe's tight-knit relationship evolved.
via: Twitter“All of us have brothers and sisters, little brothers, little sisters who for whatever reason tend to get in your stuff. Your closet, your shoes. Everything. He was a nuisance if I could say that word," Jordan said. “But that nuisance turned into love over a period of time. Just because of the admiration that they have for you. The questions, wanting to know every little detail."
He had tears streaming down his face throughout his entire heartfelt speech.
via: Twitter“I am inspired by what he’s done and what he’s shared with Vanessa and his kids. “When Kobe Bryant died a piece of me died."
And, following on from Jordan's emotional monologue...
via: GettyThe manager of the Los Angeles Lakers, Rob Pelinka, took to the stage.
Pelinka was one of Kobe's best friends...
via: GettySo, quite understandably, he was obliged to make a speech at the memorial service last night.
But it also turns out...
via: GettyThat Pelinka was actually in contact with Kobe the morning of his untimely death, and that Kobe had texted him while he was in the helicopter.
And, in his speech, he revealed what the pair had spoken about just before the tragic accident.
via: TwitterWhile Kobe was in the doomed helicopter, he had been texting Pelinka about basketball internships.
He was talking to Pelinka in the minutes leading up to his death.
via: Twitter“It was just passed 9:30, Kobe texted back explaining his desire to help a friend of his to secure a baseball agency internship for one of his young daughters. Kobe vouched for the girl’s character, intellect and work ethic. He clearly wanted to champion a bright future for her."
And, wanting to help out his friend...
via: TwitterPelinka replied right away with a set plan. "I text Kobe right back and said that I would get a plan in motion to help him get that done."
However, it would never happen.
via: TwitterGetting visibly emotional, Pelinka continued: "A handful of minutes later Kobe, Gianna, and 7 other beautiful souls ascended into heaven."
"Kobe’s last human act was heroic, he wanted to use his platform to shape a young girl’s future."
via: GettyPelinka continued: "The girl in that text chain, who he had wanted to help so badly, was Lexi Altobelli, the surviving daughter of coach John Altobelli who was also on the helicopter."
But there was one moment, in particular, that really captured everyone's hearts.
via: TwitterChristina Aguilera took to the stage to deliver a heartfelt performance of Ave Maria. Keep scrolling for the clip.
She sang the song along with an Orchestra.
via: TwitterOther performers at the event included Beyonce and Alicia Keys, but Christina's performance really got people talking,
People took to Twitter to praise the star."She looked and sounded stunning."
You can watch the full performance here:
.@XTina honors the late @KobeBryant with her gorgeous performance of “Ave Maria” at #FarewellKobe. 💜 https://t.co/yyQeRdGqqk— Pop Crave (@Pop Crave)1582580593.0