The “Freedom Rings” singer shared a shot of Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, who also died in the Jan. 26th helicopter crash, to her official Instagram account on Friday.
“Never will I understand,” she captioned the shot of Bryant and his young daughter. “My condolences to @vanessabryant, and all families who are in pain during this tragic time.”
The R&B crooner and the NBA legend first connected back in 1996 when he was just a high school senior and she was already a famous artist and star of the sitcom, Moesha.
The pair initially met at the 1996 Essence Awards, and Bryant knew right away that she was the perfect girl to take to prom.
“He came home … and said, ‘I met such a nice, beautiful, intelligent, sweet person,'” his mother Pam Bryant told the Philadelphia Daily News at the time, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.
And Brandy was just as excited to go with him. Speaking to the New York Daily News at the time, she said, “He asked me to go to the prom with him, and since he was a nice guy … I asked my mom, and she said yes.”
News of Bryant’s famous date got around fast and Lower Merion High School in his native hometown of Philadelphia had to hire extra security for the event that was held at Bellevue Hotel.
Brandy wore a sleeveless champagne Moschino dress and matching shawl while Kobe wore a black tux with no tie. In 2016, Brandy shared with TMZ that she still has the dress she wore on that special night.
Following the prom the pair remained friends — Brandy has stated that they never dated — and four months after the prom, Bryant appeared in an episode of Moesha playing a high school basketball star who received help on his SATs from Brandy’s character.
Three years later, Bryant would go on to meet his future wife, Vanessa, whom he married in 2001.
On Wednesday, Vanessa, 37, shared an emotional message on Instagram, telling fans she’s “devastated” over the loss of her “adoring” husband and their “beautiful, sweet” daughter Gianna.
Vanessa also thanked “the millions of people” for their support and love.
“My girls and I want to thank the millions of people who’ve shown support and love during this horrific time. Thank you for all the prayers,” Vanessa wrote.
“We definitely need them. We are completely devastated by the sudden loss of my adoring husband, Kobe — the amazing father of our children; and my beautiful, sweet Gianna — a loving, thoughtful, and wonderful daughter, and amazing sister to Natalia, Bianka, and Capri,” she added.
If you would like to help the families of the victims of the crash, consider donating to the Mamba on Three Fund. Contributions to the Mamba Sports Foundation will help support youth sports.