Beyoncé Opens Kobe Bryant Memorial Service with Emotional Rendition of "XO" and "Halo"

Shaquille O’Neal, Michael Jordan, Alicia Keys, and Christina Aguilera also paid tribute.

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The world was shocked when Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna and seven other passengers passed in a fatal helicopter crash in January. The NBA superstar’s lasting impact has been felt throughout the sporting and entertainment worlds alike, and numerous tributes have taken place over the past month, from the renaming of the All-Star MVP trophy to honorary tracks from Bad Bunny and Kanye West’s Sunday Service.

Earlier today, Beyoncé opened up the Kobe Bryant Memorial: A Celebration of Life for Kobe and Gianna Bryant with a moving, stripped down performance of “XO” and “Halo.” “XO” first released back in 2013 as part of the superstar’s BEYONCÉ and was an upbeat pop anthem with a visual that took her to Coney Island. Here, she’s backed by a full choir, soft piano keys and crescendoing string section accompanied by drums and guitar that transforms the uplifting track in honor of Kobe and Gianna.

“I’m here because I love Kobe, and this was one of his favorite songs,” Beyoncé said before going into “XO.” Montage clips of Kobe’s legendary career were paired with Beyoncé’s emotional rendition of “Halo.”

Later in the program, Christina Aguilera and Alicia Keys also performed tribute songs for the fallen basketball icon. Other guest speakers included Kobe Bryant’s wife Vanessa Bryant, NBA legend Michael Jordan, Kobe’s longtime teammate Shaquille O’Neal and WNBA superstar Diana Taurasi.

Watch Beyoncé’s full performance above.

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Image Credit
Kevin Mazur/Getty Images

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