The Grammy Awards Open With a Moment of Silence for Kobe Bryant

The world is in mourning after the death of Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna Bryant. The two were among five people killed in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California on Jan. 26. The Grammy Awards are set to be held the same day in the Staples Center, where Bryant played in the NBA for the Los Angeles Lakers.

Kobe Bryant Grammy Awards
Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gigi| Photo by Paul Bereswill/Getty Images

A moment of silence was held for Kobe Bryant

During the pre-telecast for the Grammy Awards, a moment of silence was held for Bryant.

“As most of you may know, we lost Kobe Bryant in a tragic helicopter accident today,” said interim Recording Academy CEO Harvey Mason Jr. “Since we are in his house, I would ask you to join me in a moment of silence.”

Fans have gathered outside the Staples Center

After news of Bryant’s death broke, fans gathered at the Staples Center to pay their respects to the retired NBA player. One fan brought a giant floral display with the words “KOBE WE LOVE YOU R.I.P.”

The LAPD reminded fans that the Staples Center was closed due to the Grammy Awards.

“We’re aware of published reports regarding the helicopter crash in Calabasas today & we’re still in the process of confirming with @LASDHQ who was on board. As a reminder, the area around the Staples Center is closed due to the Grammys & fans will not be able to access the arena,” The LAPD tweeted.

This did not deter fans from showing up to pay their respects. Because of the Grammy Awards, the hundreds of fans were forced to gather around a makeshift fence surrounding the arena.

ESPN writer Justin Tinsley tweeted, “I’m literally in STAPLES Center right now. Everyone has the same look of loss right now. We’re all zombies. Surreal doesn’t even begin to describe what it feels like.” 

Some have called on the Grammy Awards to be canceled in honor of Kobe Bryant

While some fans gathered at the Staples Center to pay tribute, others have called on the Grammy Awards to be canceled or postponed for another night.

One Twitter user wrote, “I feel like the Grammys just need to be cancelled at this point and let everyone mourn Kobe Bryant at Staples center.”

“POSTPONE THE #GRAMMYs or cancel them… There is absolutely no need to host them tonight. It’s not appropriate to hold them on a day of grieving and sadness for the loss Kobe Bryant and his daughter,” a fan tweeted.

“Not sure how the #grammys can go on tonight in that LA arena…#KobeBryant,” wrote a Twitter user.

Others hope the Grammy Awards will pay tribute to Kobe Bryant

After the news released, Chrissy Teigen tweeted about how unimportant the Grammy Awards seem in relation to Bryant’s death.

“Downtown right now and nothing feels more unimportant than what we are doing today. This is absolutely terrible. Everyone is numb,” Teigen tweeted.

Others have called on the awards show to at least put together a tribute for Bryant.

“honestly if the grammys do not give a minute of silence in the home of kobe bryant. they have totally lost all my respect,” a fan tweeted.

“What the Grammys need to do is give a deep moment of silence to Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna including the others that were killed today. The Staple Center will always be home to Kobe and Lakers fans. That’s the least they can do is give the upmost respect that he deserves,” wrote a Twitter user.

Given Bryant’s legacy in the Staples Center and around the world, hopefully the Grammy Awards will put together a tribute for Bryant, his daughter, and the other victims in the helicopter crash. Our thoughts are with Bryant’s loved ones and those who lost someone during this difficult time.