The star died in a helicopter crash earlier today alongside his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven other people.
Lizzo opened the televised ceremony with a medley of songs from her album ‘Cuz I Love You’. “Tonight is for Kobe!” she said as she began her performance. Featured in the set where the album’s title track and ‘Truth Hurts’, for which she was joined by a group of ballerinas.
Afterwards, host Alicia Keys addressed Byrant’s death, saying: “To be honest with you, we’re all feeling crazy sadness right now because earlier today, Los Angeles, America and the whole wide world lost a hero. We’re literally standing here heartbroken in the house that Kobe Bryant built.”
The Grammys is held at the Staples Center in LA, which is also home to the Los Angeles Lakers basketball team who Bryant played for.
“Right now, Kobe and his daughter Gianna and all those that have been tragically lost today are in our spirits, our heart, our prayers. Their spirits are in this building,” Keys said. “I just want everyone to take a moment and hold them inside you.”
She continued: “We never imagined in a million years we’d have to start the show like this. Never, never, never. So we wanted to do something that could describe a tiny bit how we all feel right now.
She was then joined by Boyz II Men for a performance of the 1975 Motown song ‘It’s So Hard To Say Goodbye To Yesterday’, which the boyband covered in 1991. You can watch footage of both performances above.
Earlier in the night, the Recording Academy’s interim chief Harvey Mason Jr opened the premiere ceremony by asking for a moment of silence for Bryant.
At the time of writing, Lizzo has won three awards tonight including Best Pop Solo Performance and Best Traditional R&B Performance. Keep up with all of the winners from the night here.