Kanye West Mourns Kobe Bryant and Gianna Bryant With Midnight Service

Kobe Bryant was one of the most impactful NBA stars in American history, sporting not only multiple championships wins but also a loving family and dedicated fanbase. For sports lovers, Bryant was one of the greats. Even on the opposing team, he demanded respect from players and fans worldwide. 

Following his untimely death in a helicopter crash alongside his daughter Gianna Bryant and seven other victims, Kobe Bryant was mourned at Kanye West’s most recent Sunday service. The artist freestyled and remembered Kobe Bryant alongside Chance the Rapper and Kirk Franklin.

Kobe Bryant, Gianna Bryant died in a helicopter crash

Kobe Bryant and daughter Gianna Bryant
Kobe Bryant and daughter Gianna Bryant | Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images

CNN reports that Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna Bryant, and seven other passengers were aboard a helicopter when it crashed into a hillside in Calabasas, California on Sunday morning.  

The helicopter was climbing to avoid a cloud layer before radar contact was lost. According to reports, visibility was extremely low, such that the Los Angeles Police Department had grounded its own helicopters. 

Bryant was on board with Gianna Bryant, who was slated to play in a game with the Los Angeles Lady Mambas at Mambas Academy. Since the accident, well-wishes and remembrances have been pouring in from fans across the globe. 

Barack Obama tweeted, “Kobe was a legend on the court and just getting started in what would have been just as meaningful a second act. To lose Gianna is even more heartbreaking to us as parents. Michelle and I send love and prayers to Vanessa and the entire Bryant family on an unthinkable day.”

Magic Johnson wrote, “As I try to write this post, my mind is racing. I’m in disbelief and have been crying all morning over this devastating news that Kobe and his young daughter, Gigi have passed away in a helicopter crash. Cookie and I are heartbroken.”

Kobe Bryant previously shared his thoughts on death 

Kobe Bryant and daughter Gianna Bryant
Kobe Bryant and daughter Gianna Bryant | Harry How/Getty Images

In a 2016 interview with The Ringer, Kobe Bryant discussed his thoughts on death and dying, and his answer will hopefully bring some solace to fans during this difficult time. 

The Ringer asked Bryant what his relationship with death is like. Bryant replied, “A comfortable one.” The question came around the same time Kobe Bryant retired, and so it felt especially meaningful. 

The NBA superstar went on to add, “It’s a comfortable one. It’s an understanding. You can’t have life without death. Can’t have light without the dark. So it’s an acceptance of that. When it came time to decide whether or not I should retire, [it was] really an acceptance of that mortality that all athletes face. And if you combat it, you’ll always have that inner struggle within yourself. … So … I’m comfortable with it.”

As for the idea of an afterlife, Bryan said, “I don’t know…I don’t know. But I’ll know when I die. To me, it’s that simple. I don’t know. We’ll see.”

Kanye West mourned Kobe Bryant at Sunday service

Kobe Bryant and Kanye West
Kobe Bryant and Kanye West | Noel Vasquez/GC Images

Kanye West has always been a big Kobe Bryant fan, and this was especially apparent during his special Sunday service this weekend following Kobe and Gianna Bryant’s death. 

Following the crash, Kanye West tweeted, “Kobe, We love you brother. We’re praying for your family and appreciate the life you’ve lived and all the inspiration you gave.”

West had Kirk Franklin and Chance the Rapper in attendance during his midnight service. Chance performed “Ultralight Beam,” and Kirk Franklin addressed the crowd about moving through challenging times of grief. West himself gave a freestyle performance memorializing Kobe Bryant. 

Kim Kardashian wrote on Instagram, “My heart is so heavy. No one should ever experience what the families involved are going through. This has affected us all so much but I cannot begin to imagine what Vanessa is feeling losing her husband and her baby girl. I cry just thinking about it. I am praying for the Bryant family, the Altobelli family and the families of all who perished in this unthinkable tragedy. Rest In Peace Legend.”