Kobe Bryant Honored During 2020 Academy Awards Broadcast
On Sunday (Feb. 9), the 92nd Annual Academy Awards honored the late NBA star after he and eight other people, including his 13-year-old Gianna, died in a fatal helicopter crash in Calabasas, CA on Jan. 26.
Billie Eilish and her brother sang a beautiful cover of the Beatles song "Yesterday" during the in memoriam segment of the show. The Academy showed a photo of Bryant at the 2018 Oscars alongside the quote: "Life is too short to get bogged down and be discouraged. You have to keep moving. You have to keep going."
Ahead of the performance, Eilish reflected on the ceremony's tribute during a red carpet interview with Entertainment Tonight.
"When we were in rehearsal and they run what's going to be playing, every time I see his face, I'm like, 'What?!'" she said. "It's so weird. It doesn't make sense to me [that he's gone]."
Matthew A. Cherry and Karen Ruper Toliver, the director and producer of Hair Love, also gave the basketball legend a quick shout out during their acceptance speech after winning for Best Animated Short Film.
"This award is dedicated to Kobe Bryant," Cherry said. "May we all have a second act as great as his was."
Two years ago, Bryant took home an award in the same category for his animated film Dear Basketball.
Film director Spike Lee also honored the late basketball icon on the Academy Awards red carpet, where he wore a custom purple and gold suit — the Lakers colors — embroidered with the number "24," Bryant's player number.
"Here we are together on music's biggest night, celebrating our artists that do it best," she began, "but, to be honest with you were all feeling crazy sadness right now, because earlier today Los Angeles, America and the whole wide world lost a hero. And we're literally standing here, heartbroken, in the house that Kobe Bryant built."
"Right now, Kobe and his family and all of those that have been tragically lost today are in our spirits, in our hearts, in our prayers, they're in this building," the musician continued. "I would like everybody to take a moment and hold them inside of you and share our strength and our support with their families."
"I know how much Kobe loved music," Keys added, "so we got to make this a celebration in his honor."